We believe that this value chain intervention can be scaled up at a national level in collaboration with local government organisations. The intervention is not only critical for providing additional income generation opportunities for local farmers but also goes a long way in maintaining local ecological balance by nurturing inland water bodies.
Inland fisheries are ubiquitous across various states in India. They serve the twin economic purposes of providing affordable fish for local consumption and generation of livelihood opportunities through fish farming and associated industries. In addition, inland fisheries are critical for maintaining the local ecology of the region by furthering conservation of ponds and inland water bodies.
ICICI Foundation is collaborating with local authorities and fish farmers in multiples states to address the various problems associated with creating and nurturing inland fisheries. Our pan-India efforts in this direction are spread across multiple states including Maharashtra, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
As per locally available estimates, fish production in Manipur accounts for only 60% of the demand in the state. It is pertinent to note that fish is staple diet of the inhabitants of Manipur.
ICICI Foundation is working with fish farmers and Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the state to bridge at least half of this shortfall over the next few years. Our efforts are concentrated in 21 villages over 500 acres across three districts – Bishnupur, Imphal West and Thoubal.
The intervention includes efforts to preserve ponds and leverage water resources in addition to providing pro bono training to farmers.
Till March 31, 2020, close to 700 farmers including 168 women, have been provided with comprehensive training on ‘Freshwater Aquaculture’. In addition, nearly 100 farmers have been trained exclusively in ‘Nursery Rearing and Management’.
In a bid to preserve ponds through bunding, we distributed saplings to all trainees in collaboration with the Manipur Forest Department. The farmers plant trees around ponds to form a natural boundary. It also helps the farmers to consume or sell the produce from these trees.
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