Xelect is delighted to be working with Fresh Studio and De Heus in Myanmar as the genetics partner in a major new initiative to boost food security in the region.
The Powering Aquaculture Progress project is a 5-year public private initiative to modernise the aquaculture industry. Fresh Studio and Xelect, with funding from animal feed supplier De Heus and the Dutch Government, are collaborating on the development of two flagship hatcheries and an applied R&D farm. These will act as the basis for a modern, centralised breeding programme which will supply high quality broodstock for seed production at hatcheries throughout the country.
Xelect is currently working with Fresh Studio’s team on the ground to develop the genetic tools required to kickstart a centralised programme for Rohu Carp (Labeo rohita) – a very popular regional fish that has been largely neglected in genetic terms. With a dedicated breeding programme the project could develop a sustainable supply of fish that are ideally suited to local conditions, benefiting from faster growth and increased disease resistance.
Fresh Studio’s Country Manager for Myanmar, Floortje Jacobs, commented: “Since 2019, Powering Aquaculture Progress is one of the largest projects with foreign direct investment in Myanmar, and is set to make improvements along all steps of the aquaculture supply chain. While improved technologies and knowledge for farmers are the main focus, we soon realized that we will not reach productivity improvements if we don’t analyze and work on the genetic quality of the fish as well. Luckily, Xelect could help us with this”.
Xelect Breeding Programme Manager Lidia de los Rios Perez added “The initial phase of the project consists of the development of a genetics tool kit that will allow us to analyse the existing populations. In the second phase we will evaluate the genetic diversity and inbreeding levels of the available stocks and identify a suitable founding population for use in a future breeding and genetic improvement programme. The Xelect team are proud to be collaborating on this significant project which will improve food security for the region.”
The Powering Aquaculture Progress initiative is a major step forward for aquaculture in the region and is specifically designed to leave a lasting legacy of skills, technical knowledge, technology and – of course – Rohu carp that thrive in the environment in which they’re grown.
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