MSSRF and NABARD launch “My District My product” scheme in Cuddalore District

Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu): M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), with financial assistance from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), launched a new project in the Mudasalodai village of Cuddalore District on the Production of Quality Dry Fishes using Portable Tunnel Baby Solar Dryer Technology. Mr. Sreepathy Kalkura S, General Manager, NABARD launched the project on 23 December 2021.

In his inaugural address, he emphasised the importance of the “My district My product” project and its positive implication in the region in the coming days. “The Solar Dryer Technology project will provide an end-to-end scientific knowledge, training, and demonstration of the solar dryer for quality dry fish production” said Mr. Kalkura S. He also gave insights on the marketing of the product by the creation of the branding for the sustainability of the enterprises.

The project is considered the first of its kind in India, ensuring the nutritional and livelihood enhancement of fisherwomen of Mudasalodai village. Mr. Vijay Neehar, DDM, NABARD, highlighted the importance of the “My district My Product” scheme and explained the reason for choosing dry fish in the Cuddalore district.

Dr. S. Velvizhi, Principal Scientist, MSSRF highlighted the issues of fisherwomen and the need for this timely technology intervention for their livelihood enhancement. “Open sun drying is the drying technique followed by the fisherwomen that impact the quality of the final products and reduce market value which finally impacts health and income,” said Dr. Velvizhi.

Implementing this technology with forward and backward linkages will support the fisherwomen in producing quality dry fish. “Solar drying method is an economically feasible and hygienically viable fish drying practice. The products from the solar dryers are value-added because of its hygiene and standard,” said De Velvizhi.

She also pointed out MSSRF Fish for All Research and Training Centre’s work in fisheries’ post-harvest management-related research and development work for the last 12 years and introduced various post-harvest fish processing technologies for the empowerment of fisherwomen through training, demonstration, and creating a successful model for larger adoption.

Ms. Renuga, General Manager, TAFCOFED, addressed the beneficiaries on the production of quality dry fish in the consumer-driven market is the need of the hour. And hence the sustainability of this technology here in Mudasalodai will enhance the livelihood of fisherwomen.

Prof. M. Srinivasan, Dean & Director, Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University; Mr. Sriram, Head, KVK, Virudhachalam; Mr. Dhilip Kumar, MD, DCCB; Dr. Mr. Thamil Maran, Assistant Director, Fisheries, Cuddalore, A Gopalakrishnan, Assistant Professor, Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, traditional panchayat leaders of Mudasalodai village were present at the event. Mr Elango, MSSRF welcomed the participants and Mr Nethaji, Boat owner’s Association, Mudasalodai thanked the gathering. More than 100 fisherfolk of Mudasalodai village participated in the program.