Aquaculture technology transforms livelihood of tribals
In 2009, Adivasipara Village, Hathkhola (Bali Village No. 9) of Gosaba Block in South 24 Paraganas, West Bengal faced a deadly cyclonic storm called ‘Aila’ which washed away almost the entire island. Intrusion of salt water spoiled freshwater ponds and irrigation channels including their biodiversity. Since then availability of food and livelihood options were the major constraints for the inhabitants of the Island. ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubneshwar had initiated restoration of fish culture activities and livelihood support system of the tribal population in the devastated Island. Availability of quality carp seed, other critical inputs and technology were the major issues. ICAR-CIFA conducted surveys, analyzed soil and water parameters of the ponds, established portable Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) carp hatchery for seed production, supplied critical inputs for integrated and composite aquaculture to 51 tribal farm families of Adivasipara Village, demonstrated scientific aquaculture practices in 4.855 ha pond area, imparted regular trainings to the beneficiaries and also became the driving force for bringing several resource persons and dignitaries to the Island.