M S Swaminathan Research Foundation's work to mitigate climate change impact in coastal areas gets recognition from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The Foundation is promoting integrated mangrove fishery farming in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
On 18 August 2021, NABARD Chief General Manager (CGM) T. Venkatakrishna termed it the best model for resilient climate building for small-scale fishers.
He also suggested that MSSRF mobilize these people to form a Farmer producer organization (FPO) through which a large number of people could benefit in the near future.
"More people of the village can be benefitted through joint liability groups (JLG) and Self-help groups (SHG) and get profited through loans with the support of the local bank for fish processing, seed production," said T. Venkatakrishna.
MSSRF initiated a project in Cuddalore district with the support of NABARD on "Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System (IMFFS) to Enhance Adaptive Capacity of Fishing Community to Sea-Level Rise in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu" under the scheme on Farm Sector Promotion Fund (FPSF).
Cuddalore district is located in northern Tamil Nadu, bordered by the Bay of Bengal in the east is considered one of the most vulnerable
districts in Tamil Nadu to climate change-induced sea-level rise. The United Nations report on Climate Change projected that India's coastal areas would witness sea-level rise by 46 to 59 cm by the end of the century.
This project will demonstrate a 2.10-hectare IMFFS farm in Mudasalodai village by involving traditional and Irulas fishers from Mudasalodai and Kalaignar Nagar fishing villages in the Pitchavaram region.
The IMFFS farm pond is designed in a mitochondrial pattern and is a tide-fed pond. The pond development has progressed from weed removal, deepening of water-logged areas, strengthening pond bunds, floral and faunal diversity analysis, and mangrove plantation.
T. Venkatakrishna recommended that the Foundation should integrate more livelihood components like Azolla production, poultry, and seaweed culture.
"Sustainable livelihood opportunities and a resilient climate process for the environment would be a way forward," said T. Venkatakrishna.
Along with NABARD CGM, NABARD DDM Mr. Vijay Neehar, Cuddalore , Deputy Director of Fisheries Mr. N M Velmurugan and EE of the Fisheries Department, were also present at the site.