January 25, 2015

Dryfish-brandingOdisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Jan 25: If you are a connoisseur of dry fish then this Republic Day will bring good news for you.Under World Bank aided Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP), 99 ultra modern solar dryers are installed for the first time in India, for making most hygienic dry fish by the women SHGs across Ganjam and Puri district as an alternate livelihood initiative under the project. Different varieties of dry fish or popularly known Sukhua in a glossy and standardised food grade non-stinking package in multiple shops would be a reality soon.As per the plan, popular dry fish varieties which are in high demand due to culinary habits of local consumers would be dried hygienically in these ultra modern solar dryers, processed and packaged by the women fisher groups under the brand name `SEAFEAST’ and would find place on the shelves of the stores at Bhubaneswar, to begin with.This packaging and marketing initiative is part of livelihood activities adopted by ICZMP in Odisha to provide a crucial linkage to the marketing system for the marginal fishers in a dignified way – transforming from the filthy baskets of local footpath sellers to positioning in the shelf of organised retailers.Currently, pilot testing of these hygienically dried and processed dry fishes are underway and this would soon be available in the local market, come January 26, 2015.The brand, `SEAFEAST’ – Hygienic bhi Healthy bhi, would be launched at a special ICZMP stall at Adivasi Mela in Bhubaneswar on January 26.The services of a special professional group has been commissioned by the State Project Management Unit of ICZMP to impart training to the fisher groups on uniform packaging process and facilitate the initiative to maximise returns for the fishers.Initially, the packaged dry fish products would be available locally and the SPMU has plans to collaborate with the different agencies in future to expand the dry fish market. Through this initiative consumers would get high quality hygienic dry fish products in most healthy form at an affordable price and the women fisher SHGs would get a better price.This is a bold initiative under the ICZMP to expand the value and supply chain system of dry fish market within and outside the state.“We expect through this effort, the women SHGs would get better price and at the same time the consumer would get a new experience of buying new product in the most hygienic form,” according to an official of the project.ICZMP has initiated different steps in collaboration with the state Fisheries Department.A study was commissioned to formulate a strategy for the hygienic value added fish to MART.Based on the study and recommendations buyer seller meet with bulk suppliers organized.SHGs were trained on the distinctive packaging aspects of perishable fish products as per the food safety norms through a high end packaging machines.They are already skilled to produce dry fish through solar drying platforms supplied by ICZMP in a standardized form.ICZMP is also working on to collaborate with other agencies to sell this unique product under a retail counter.ICZMP has also conceptualised branding and positioning of this finished product.Apart from this a special plan is underway to initiate centralized processing, quality control, branding, packaging, storing and marketing of finished products originating from all ICZMP project areas.Initially 32 SHGs are tied up to carry out this activity in Gopalpur of Ganjam district.ICZMP is also planning to provide capacity building and handholding to all 99 SHGs who have taken up dry fish production through hybrid solar dryers and eventually establishing a SHG federation.The federation will comprise of all potential SHGs and producers under the ICZMP operational area.ICZMP has also initiated on product awareness and brand building through different activities for hygienic dry fish.This is the first time that hybrid solar driers are introduced in the state for the fishers who are adversely affected due to ban on fishing owing to the implementation of Odisha Marine Fisheries Regulation (OMFRA) Act and other biodiversity conservation measures.Initially, ICZMP has selected 99 SHGs in Ganjam and Puri districts in its pilot project area to provide hybrid solar driers as part of the alternative livelihood programme under Fishery component.Out of the selected self-help groups 94 are women SHGs who would be directly benefitted from the programme.

January 25, 2015 0 Comment