ICAR-Central inland fisheries Research Institute organised Mahila Matasyajibi Sammelan (Women Fishers Meet) at Kultali, Sundarban, West Bengal in collaboration with Kultali Milantirth Society on 19 May 2023. Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Govt. of India and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research inaugurated the meet as the Chief Guest. Other distinguished guests were Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Dr. Gouranga Kar, Director, ICAR-CRIJAF and Dr. D. B. Shakyawar, Director, ICAR-NINFET.
Dr. Pathak in his address as chief guest in his address said that rural population of Sundarban is suffering due to continuous natural disaster like cyclones. He emphasised that excellent and exceptional work carried out by ICAR-CIFRI for the livelihood enhancement of women fishers of Sundarban. I could see the impact that today in this Mahila Matasyajeebi Sammelan, more than four thousand five hundred women fishers are present here and ICAR-CIFRI will adopt 500 women fishers under SCSP and STC. He stressed that all the ICAR institutes and Krishi Vigyan Kendra of this region will whole heartedly support the farmers of Sundarban in implementing new agricultural technology and livelihood enhancement. I congratulate ICAR-CIFRI and all staff members for taking this human service and taking all the technology forward to the faraway places like Sundarban.
Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI while welcoming chief guest and other dignitaries said that in last 10 years, CIFRI has introduced interventions like backyard pond culture, canal fisheries and ornamental fish farming to support the livelihood of the targeted beneficiaries of Gosaba, Hingalgunj, Kochukhali, Amtoli, Gangasagar, Bali Island, Namkhana, Kakdwip, Kultoli of Sundarban. Institute has been extending its support to the vulnerable communities of Sundarbans by providing technological inputs for rejuvenating their livelihood through fish farming under the SCSP/STC programme. These interventions have led to alternative livelihood generation of the beneficiaries and their annual income has also been increased significantly.
Dr. Gauranga kar, Director, ICAR-CRIJAF, Barrackpore and Dr. D. B. Sakyawar, Director, ICAR-NINFET, Kolkata also addressed the gathering and assured them of possible help from ICAR institutes.
The Secretary, DARE & DG, ICAR distributed fisheries inputs like fingerlings, ICAR-CIFRI Cagegrow feed etc. to 500 SC and ST women fish-farmers who have backyard ponds with an average area ranging from 0.02 ha to 0.04 ha in their household. These women beneficiaries have been selected from a vast area covering 38 hamlets under 17 GPs of two Community Development Blocks namely Gosaba and Basanti of Sundarbans.
More than five thousand fishers including 4500 women fishers participated in the meet.
Officers and staff members of state departments, ICAR institutes and Krishna Vigyan Kendra were also present on this occasion. Overall, the programme was successfully organized by the ‘Team CIFRI’ comprising scientists and other staff members including research scholars under the active guidance of the Director of CIFRI.