MSSRF launches the Home-shed Mini Solar Dryer model and exclusive Helpline for fisherwoman in Poompuhar
POOMPUHAR: JANUARY 05, 2024
The Fish for All Research and Training Centre at Poompuhar – a pioneering initiative under the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), celebrated its 14th anniversary on December 26, 2023. To mark the remarkable milestone and journey of 14 years serving the coastal communities, a commemoration event was organised at Poompuhar on January 4, 2024.
Several new initiatives were launched on the occasion:
The Home-shed Mini Solar Dryer is designed for fisherwomen to use at their homes to dry fish hygienically and in an environmentally friendly way, thereby improve marketing opportunities. The initiative is supported by Indian Overseas Bank and is meant to reach hundreds of fisherwomen.
An exclusive Helpline facility for fisherwomen was also inaugurated in collaboration with Reliance Foundation and USAID, and will address queries related to post-harvest fishing linkages and disconnects, etc.
Digital tools (Tabs) were also distributed to the fisherwomen, and several youths from coastal villages who volunteered to remove discarded ghost gears from the sea and shoreline were felicitated.
MSSRF and ICAR – Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) signed a MOU to collaborate on training and research.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chairperson – MSSRF, in her inaugural speech, crediting the Fish For All Centre for dedicated efforts towards empowering coastal communities, drew attention to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate that has disastrous effects for livelihoods and health. Acknowledging that the exclusive Helpline facility and the Home-shed Mini Solar Dryer for fisherwomen will benefit them, she observed that the fisherwomen deal with highly perishable produce and are constantly faced with marketing challenges.
“Fisherwomen are therefore the crucial link in the fisheries sector, and the initiatives launched today are tremendously useful to secure a stable income.” She also highlighted the importance of collaborations towards adaptation initiatives and policies, as well as the integration of AI, also information and communication technologies (ICTs) to build resilience for fishers top manage climate change risks.
Dr Kuldeep Kumar Lal, Director of ICAR – Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) spoke on the importance of improving the family nutrition and health through community power, while Dr Ajith Kumar, Principal Scientist & Head, Centre for Peninsular Aquatic Genetic Resources ICAR-NBFGR Kochi, emphasised on prioritising coastal communities, and noted the equal importance of achieving Blue Revolution goals for sustainable livelihoods and the environment.
Several strategic partners-representatives from Annamalai University, Fisheries and Fishermen Welfare (Karaikal), CMFRI (Mandapam), District Industrial Centre (Mayiladuthurai) as well as community partners from Trawler Boat Association, TamilNadu Fishermen Welfare Board, and many fish farmers and coastal community members spoke expressing their gratitude to the MSSRF Fish for All Centre, and for the many interventions that improved their lives.
Dr GN Hariharan, Executive Director – MSSRF, gave the introductory remarks.
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M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.