Environment

CMFRI scientist wins award for research on seaweed

The research involves commercialising nutraceutical products from selected seaweeds.

Kochi: Kajal Chakraborty, principal scientist at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), has won national recognition for his research efforts to develop a series of nutraceutical products from seaweeds to treat various lifestyle diseases, including  diabetes.

 Chakraborty bagged the prestigious Norman Borlaug National Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research instituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) functioning under the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. 

Three other CMFRI scientists also won awards for their works. All the awards were presented virtually by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.  While addressing the gathering after presenting the awards, Tomar said that strengthening agriculture and its strong foundation through relevant research programmes could help achieve the targets of rural development of the country.  

The ‘Kisan Sarathi’, an ITC-based interface solution for supporting agriculture at the local niche with national perspective, was also released on the occasion.  

The award, which is announced once in every five years, carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Besides this, the scientist will be given a research grant of Rs 1.5 crore for carrying out a challenging research project for five years. 

 Chakraborty’s research achievements involve developing and commercialising nutraceutical products from selected seaweeds to combat rheumatic arthritic pain, type-2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and hypothyroidism.  The latest efforts in this line of research include antiosteoporotic and immune-boost nutraceuticals, and the latter received wider attention in the wake of the Covid -19 pandemic.  The award was announced and presented marking the 93rd foundation day of ICAR.  

The other winners from CMFRI include Fasina Makkar, a PhD scholar who received the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for her doctoral thesis research in agricultural and allied Sciences. The other awards for CMFRI include Rajarshi Tandon Rajbhasha Award for excellent implementation of Official Language Policy among the ICAR institutes situated in the ‘C’ region.