National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated every year on 23rd December in the honour of Chaudhary Charan Singh who was the fifth Prime Minister of India. ICAR-CIBA celebrated the Kisan Diwas with the fishers and tribal farmers of the Sadraskuppam village, Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. Dr.T.Ravisankar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIBA, Chennai, narrated the demonstration and extension activities conducted in various coastal states by ICAR-CIBA for tribal and coastal communities for enhancing their livelihood. CIBA staff sensitized the participants about their employment opportunities in fisheries especially for youth and women, and income generation using cost effective brackishwater aquaculture technologies in the vast stretches of brackishwater resources available in the region.
Dr. P.Mahalakshmi, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIBA highlighted the importance of National Farmers Day. She briefed about the Swachh Bharat Mission and highlighted the importance of cleanliness in the villages and recycling of fish and domestic waste to avoid infections and diseases. She also sensitized the participants about the importance of Sadraskuppam backwater resources and its maintenance for enhancing the livelihood security and resilience of fishers in the region. She also demonstrated the protocol for recycling of fish wastes to value added products and their usage in commercial aquaculture and agriculture and their marketing potential.
Mr. Kenetraj, a fish farmer from Srinivasapuram village, Pattinapakkam, Tamil Nadu, shared his experience about demonstration on “Waste to wealth: recycling of fish waste to value added products” conducted by CIBA and highlighted the profitability and marketing potential of the product. He also cherished the efforts of CIBA, in promoting of waste to wealth concept as an alternative livelihood activity for the fishers in their village. Dr.P.Mahalakshmi informed the gathering that Dr K K Vijayan, Director CIBA had directed and provided all facilities to install the recycling of fish waste unit in the Srinivasapuram village, Tamil Nadu based on the need and interest shown by the fish farmers from Srinivasapuram village. She also highlighted that this initiative is not only cleaning and hygienic disposal of fish market waste which is abundantly available in the village cluster but also will help to produce wealth from waste. Mr.Kathiravan and Mr. Sinnasamy, Tribal farmers at Sadraskuppam, stated about the demand and availability of mullet and pearlspot fingerlings in the backyard water bodies of tribal village region and requested CIBA for training and support for the development of brackishwater aquaculture technologies for enhancing the fish production and income of fishers and tribes.
About 60 villagers participated in the programme along with their panchayat leaders and Self Help Group members and scientists from ICAR-CIBA, Chennai. At the end of the meeting, CIBA staff distributed the housework materials to tribal families for cleaning their premises. The meeting concluded with the vote of thanks by Dr. R.Geetha, Scientist, Social Science Division, CIBA. Dr.P.Mahalakshmi, Dr. T. Ravisankar and Dr. R.Geetha coordinated the event and explained to the queries raised by the participants.