25 March 2011
Dr Meryl J. Williams former Director General World Fish Center, Malaysia visited women fish farmers at Kaijanga on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. She interacted with around 50 women who are involved in various aquaculture related ventures. Dr. Williams was extremely happy to see that women in Orissa have taken up several technologies like carp seed production in FRP hatchery, Ornamental fish breeding & culture and composite carp culture etc. with technical backstopping by the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA).
Dr Williams headed the World Fish Center, one of the CGIAR institutes for ten years (1994-2004) and during that period she focused the attention on eradicating poverty, removing malnutrition and reducing pressure on environment. She is currently engaged in non-executive leadership position in several global fora. She visited the Institute farm facilities and few laboratories and appreciated the kind of research and development works being conducted at this Institute under the able leadership of Dr Ambekar E. Eknath. She delivered a lecture on “Women in aquaculture-need for a paradigm shift in R&D to reach the unreached”. She stressed that women in developing countries are contributing enormously towards agriculture and fisheries. However, the contribution is not recognized to the desired extent. As per FAO (2011) 24% of the workforce engaged in fisheries and fish farming in India are women. She called upon the R&D workers to develop women friendly technologies and help empowering them through involvement in fisheries.
She also inaugurated an exhibition on handicrafts and value added products prepared by several women SHGs. She appreciated the value added coir products – doll, doormat ; appliqué works – wall hanging, bags etc. Smt Saudamini Makup, President of Duladei women Self Help Group narrated how the housewives are joining hands for income generating activities and contributing to their household. Vermicomposting, genetically improved Rohu (Jayanti) , mushroom were also exhibited by the farm women.
The visit was coordinated by Dr Radheyshyam, Dr G S Saha, Dr K Kumar, Dr Balram Behera, Sri Ajaya Dash, Ms Sukanti Behera, Ms Anusaya Mallick, Ms Prashanti Mishra of CIFA.
(Source: Dr. H .K De (Senior Scientist), Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Kausalyaganga, Bhubaneswar – 751 002, Odisha. Tel. No. (0674) 2465446 Ext. 112 (O), Fax: (0674) 2465407, 09437303382 (M) e-mail: hkdesify [dot] com )