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NISARGA- Incubation Centre by Bhoomithrasena Club

Nisarga Incubation centre is an initiative of Bhoomithrasena Club to develop and promote an eco-friendly life style among students. The incubation centre mainly focuses on the making of paper files and paper pen thereby reducing the use of plastic files and pen from the campus. Nisarga Incubation Centre was established in 2017-18 with a workshop for the Club members on the making of paper files and pen by IMMOWSE Training centre (Govt. approved training centre for self-employment Programmes, Thrissur), Kolazhy, Thrissur. A similar workshop was conducted in 2018-19. In 2019-20, senior members of the Club conducted the training programme on the making of paper files for newly joined club members. Club members also decided to use only paper or other eco-friendly files in the campus for the submission of record sheets.

MARIAN AGRI NURSERY- Incubation Centre by Dept. of Botany

Marian Agri Nursery, the incubation centre of Dept. of Botany was established in the academic year 2018-19 with an intention to enourage gardening and family farming thereby improving the quality of surrounding environment. The centre was officially inaugurated by Sri. V.S.Sunil Kumar, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture on 19-07-2019. The seeds and seedlings of different varieties of ornamental and vegetable plants developed at the centre by the students of Botany Department are distributed to the staff, students and local community.

ALANKARA - Ornamental Fish Culture Unit

Ornamental fishes are show pieces and expressions of aquatic splendor. The diverse fishes that are attractive in colour, peculiar in shape and decorative in purpose are cherished as pets. The art of fish keeping, since a long time is fancied as a hobby. The ornamental fish industry has now secured an essential section of international trade. It is expanding in all dimensions, providing ethical bliss and financial openings.

Ornamental fish forms the significant commodity of this multibillion dollar industry. The status of India in the world trade of ornamental fish is that it ranks fifth in the world, in terms of growth rate in export value of ornamental fishes, ranks fourth in terms of growth rate recorded by quantity of ornamental fishes exported and ranks eighth in terms of growth rate recorded by unit value of ornamental fishes exported

There is enormous scope for improving the lifestyle of women of Kerala through their active involvement in the aquaculture sector. Kerala with its 44 rivers, numerous lakes and ponds, has great potential for growth. But this field is yet to be explored and utilised. Potential areas such as culture feed preparation, biofertilizer production, seed production and other fishery management practices are fields which call for the active participation of the women.

Though there is great demand for live ornamental fishes, in the international market the sector is still in its infancy. Therefore, with the notion of imparting this knowledge the Zoology Department initiated an Ornamental Fish Culture Unit, Alankara.

Inauguration of fish farming unit

Fish farming unit was inaugurated by Dr. Sr. Rani George, Principal on 14th September, 2010.

Fishes cultured include ornamental fishes like Platy, Guppy, Sword Tail, Black Molly and Gold Fish. Training and Awareness classes on ornamental & food fish culture, Breeding of ornamental fish, Training in Aquarium manufacture and sale, Live feed culture, Sale of fish, Start up kits and accessories are also done. The students maintain fresh water aquarium. The aquarium is an amazing window to the fascinating underwater world. By maintaining an aquarium the students learn the behaviour of the fishes their survival capacity, mode of feeding compatibility with other species and so on. Today there is great demand in the world market for ornamental fishes. By knowing the different ornamental fishes and their life style the students become competent in the trade too. So, as a first step a good aquarium is being maintained and regularly competitions are conducted to mend the creativity.

In the outdoor unit there are six tanks, where live bearers are kept. It includes guppy, swordtail, platy and black molly. A natural environment is provided there and breeding takes place naturally. The young ones transferred to the aquarium unit are well maintained in the lab. The department provides sufficient training in manufacture of the aquarium. Though primarily started as a means of manufacturing the aquarium for lab purpose due to the great interest of the students the processes of aquarium manufacture turned to a small income generator. Tanks were also sold to the students

As a centre of knowledge exhibitions and sale is conducted to promote entrepreneurship and to inculcate passion for ornamental fish keeping

SAMPOORNA- Mushroom Cultivation Incubation Centre

Training on Mushroom cultivation techniques is one of the best practices of Department of Microbiology. In 2018, Department of Microbiology initiated an Incubation Centre for Mushroom Cultivation- SAMPOORNA , to extend our service to public. The centre offers training and guidance on cultivation of Pleurotusspecies on various agro wastes like paddy straw, coir pith etc. Necessary guidance is given to set up small scale cultivation units. Our service is also available to Kudumbasree units, Anganwadi workers and parents as and when required.

Objectives of SAMPOORNA

  • To inculcate entrepreneurial skills among the students
  • To enhance self-employment opportunities among students and unemployed women
  • To empower Anganwadi and Kudumbasree workers through free training on mushroom cultivation techniques
  • To give necessary guidance and help for the public to set up small scale mushroom cultivation units
  • To spread awareness among students and public about the health benefits of mushrooms

The Department of Microbiology has been conducting training for students on the cultivation techniques of mushrooms, especially Oyster mushroom species like Pleurotus florida (P.florida) and Pleurotus sajor -caju(P.sajor-caju) since 2009. The motto of this training programme is “To earn while learn”.The major objective of this programme is to motivate students to generate an income to meet their academic expenses.This programme also aims at developing the entrepreneur skills of students and thus to encourage them to set up small scale cultivation units by themselves.

The training programme was of good demand and as per the request of students it was introduced into curriculum as “Certificate Programme on Mushroom Cultivation Techniques” for IV Semester UG Microbiology in 2010. The certificate course consisted of 20 theory hours and 15 practical hours. Continuous evaluation was done by assignments, seminars and examination. Certificates were given to the qualified students at the end of the programme. A well-equipped mushroom cultivation room was set up in 2014 for this purpose and the certificate course was continued till 2018.Submerged cultivation of mycelia of these mushrooms were also performed in the cultivation unit and in the campus students conducted the sale of spawn and mushroom cultivated by them.

Around 134 students were benefited by this course.Through this programme good awareness was created among our students about the nutritional and pharmacological potential of edible mushrooms and also about the importance of including this health promoting food in our normal diet.Many students cultivated mushrooms in their household and a few started small production units at home Around 10 MSc dissertations on the medicinal and pharmacological properties of Pleurotus spp cultivated in our unit was done and the research was published and presented in National Journals and Seminars respectively. In 2018, to extend our service to public, the mushroom incubation centre “Sampoorna” was started.

SAMRIDHI- Food Fish Culture Unit

Fish keeping gives pleasure to young and old alike. It relaxes the mind, reduces stress, offers an opening to start a farm to generate self-employment. Indian fisheries and aquaculture is an important sector of food production, providing nutritional security, contributing to the agricultural exports and engaging millions of people in different activities. Fish and fish products have emerged as the largest group in agricultural exports of India. Aquaculture has led to considerable socio-economic benefits such as increased nutritional levels, income, employment and foreign exchange. vast un-utilized and under-utilized land and water resources are also brought under culture.

It is Eco friendly and enables recycling and utilization of organic wastes. Whereas, Fish is a cheap and easily digestible animal protein that was available from natural waters from time immemorial. However, due to overexploitation, loss of habitat, pesticide use, and pollution, the availability of fish in natural waters have declined considerably. The current scenario reveals an alarming increase in various diseases like kidney liver, cardiac, nervous diseases, and cancer. A big unease of recent origin is that the Food products are preserved with harmful chemicals that is carcinogenic and with potency even to deadly diseases.

The main inducing factors were attributed to the change of environmental conditions, to the consumption of vegetables and fruits treated with enormous chemicals at every stage of culture and antibiotic and other pharmaceutical usage in meat production and preservative chemicals used in fish preservation. Fish culture in controlled or artificial conditions is an easy way of increasing fish production and its availability for consumption. Fish culture can be done in village ponds, tanks or even in backyards in artificial ponds. Thus fish culture is a way of improving the financial status of a community significantly. It creates employment for skilled and unskilled people. As far as women are concerned backyard culture or terrace culture in small units can provide sufficient fish for a family unit which is free of pesticide and chemicals.

Objectives

  • To make known to students the concepts and models of fisheries and their management
  • To create in them basic understanding and knowledge on the overall view of the aquaculture sector
  • To support them in initiation of aquaculture ventures

A fish culture unit was established attempting culture of food fish for food security and nutritional and socio economic benefits. With this intention, the Samridhi Fish Culture Unit was established in January 2019 with the support of seed money from the PTA. The unit was inagurated by our Principal Dr. Sr. Magie Jose on 18th March 2019.

Setting up of tank

Feeding of the fish and Recycling of food waste

Fish culture at St. Mary’s is bonded up with waste management. The amount of food waste generated daily is enormous and here through fish culture a viable alternative approach is attempted. We attempt a sustainable practice in line with the Swachh Bharat Mission, by promoting food waste management and self-sufficiency by converting food waste to high protein fish flesh. The food waste of the hostel is given as feed for the fish along with the supplement feed. This contributes a healthy diet and healthier community.

By this approach Fish production will become an essential part of food security. The water used in the unit is renewed at intervals to maintain water quality. This water from the unit is pumped out using motor to water the vegetable garden as it is nutrient rich and augments organic farming. This venture is a success and the institution popularizes the theme of aquaculture in limited space, like the rooftop or backyard or terrace. This method is easy and can be useful for urban citizens to ensure food security. To make it eco-efficient principles of aquaponics is also incorporated.

Fish harvest

Fish was harvested after the period of growth. Partial harvesting was conducted on demand basis. After 5 months culture 33kg of fish was harvested. The harvested fish were sold. The tank was cleaned and again set by addition of lime and organic fertilizer. After sufficient plankton developed new fish hatchlings were introduced. The department with this venture envisages training in food fish culture and higher production and availability of unadulterated fish for the stakeholders and the local community

Shalabha Centre for Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly gardening is an important way of restoring habitats through the generation of ecosystems. Where ever possible, we need to encourage habitat restoration. Shalabha Centre for Butterfly Gardening, an initiative of Department of Zoology and Botany intends popularising conservation of butterflies. It organized several programs for spreading the pulse of conservation to educational institutions in Thrissur district.

Objectives

  • To create knowledge on habitat restoration through Butterfly Garden
  • To develop competence in the identification of common indigenous butterflies
  • To develop competence to identify and culture butterfly plants

Butterflies and their life stages are dependent on specific host plants for food, and their survival ensures habitat conservation. The concept of butterfly gardening has gained immense importance in this developing era and popularization of environmental conservation could be easily met by inculcating values of habitat preservation in the new generation. Conservation programs aimed for a particular purpose can have positive effects on a multitude of organisms. Enriching a habitat has immense importance for the survival of a species. As far as butterflies are concerned their specific requirements need to be attended to. Exhibitions are conducted to create awareness in students about different types of butterfly plants and their rearing.

Hands-on Training programs and awareness class are provided to students and teachers on butterfly gardening. Different types of butterfly host plants and nectar plants are cultured

HANDS-ON TRAINING WORKSHOP ON BUTTERFLY GARDENING

Resourceful classes were delivered and exhibitions conducted at St. Mary’s CUPS School, Sacred Heart School, St. Paul’s Public School, St. Xaviers, Carmel College, Mala, St. Thomas School, Koonamoochi and Anganwadis

Creating a Butterfly Garden is the most important way of enriching and restoring habitats, through the Shalabha Centre more than 1000 butterfly plants were distributed to more than 30 institutions to start a butterfly garden. This mass initiative Campaign was to raise the silhouette of school gardens to butterfly gardens which act as a natural, sustainable resource that offer curricular, social and emotional benefits to pupils. Best Butterfly garden awards were presented to the best three schools

A butterfly garden has been established in the State Museum and Zoo for the popularization of butterfly conservation. This program is aimed at creating public awareness. Establishment of the garden in a place of public importance will disseminate the pulse of conservation to numerous students and the public for the good of conservation of numerous species.

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