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Focus on promoting oyster, clam farming

Special Correspondent
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Workshop on business opportunities

BASICS OF PREPPING:Chef Jose Varkey giving a demonstration on oyster and clam cuisine at a workshop in Kollam.
BASICS OF PREPPING:Chef Jose Varkey giving a demonstration on oyster and clam cuisine at a workshop in Kollam.

The Quilon Social Service Society (QSSS), in association with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Casino Group of Hotels (CGH), organised a workshop on ‘‘Emerging business opportunities in oyster and clam cuisine” at Chavara, near here, for chefs.

The workshop, organised under a project funded by the World Bank, was aimed at creating awareness on the nutritional benefits of oysters and clams. The programme was held at the National Institute of Fisheries Post Harvest Technology and Training managed by the QSSS. The workshop was led by corporate chef Jose Varkey from the CGH.

QSSS director Pious Mallier said that clams and oysters harvested from the Ashtamudi Lake are being hygienically and scientifically processed and marketed by the institute under the brand name Samrudhi.

A group of 10 women from the neighbourhood was involved in the process.

But the products were not capturing the markets in a befitting manner, both among the people of the State and foreign tourists, Fr. Mallier said. Apart from cuisine, oysters could also be consumed live and the CMFRI in collaboration with CGH had tapped a small but sustained interest in live oyster consumption among gourmets in Kochi.

K.K. Appukuttan, former head, Molluscan Fisheries Division, CMFRI, who addressed the workshop, said the promotion of the two products would considerably improve the livelihood enhancement of women SHG members involved in the process. Through the workshop, chefs were given demonstrations on cooking oyster and clam dishes.

The CMFRI had developed a technology for farming oysters in the backwaters and had promoted this farming technique among women SHGs at Vembanad, Kayamkulam, and Ashtamudi lakes in the State. At present, the production through farming is over 4,000 tonnes annually.

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