The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended a grant of ₹24.90 lakh for a project on Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System (IMFFS) in Cuddalore district.
According to a release, the project is being implemented by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and is aimed at enhancing the adaptive capacity of the fishing community.
The project is being implemented on 2.10 hectares of land in Mudasalodai village by involving traditional and Irula fishers from Mudasalodai and Kalaignar coastal hamlets in Pichavaram.
Under the Integrated mangrove fishery farming system, mangroves are integrated with fish culture.
“This is a new kind of farming system wherein conventional earthen aquaculture ponds are modified in such a way to provide about 30% of the area for raising mangroves and the remaining for fish cultivation,” said S. Velvizhi, Principal Scientist, Fish for All Research and Training Centre, MSSRF.
The farms have been designed to be tidally fed, which makes them more environment friendly and profitable. The presence of mangroves would mitigate the impact of rising sea levels whereas the sustained harvest of fish would take care of the adaptive capacity of the coastal community, she said.
The farm pond is designed in a mitochondrial pattern and is a tide-fed pond. The pond development has progressed all the way from removal of weeds, deepening of waterlogged areas, strengthening of pond bunds, floral and faunal diversity analysis, and mangrove plantation.
NABARD Chief General Manager T. Venkatakrishna recently visited the project site and interacted with the stakeholders. Mr. Venkatakrishna also suggested MSSRF help the community members form Farmers Produce Organization. MSSRF can also train villagers on fish processing and seed production, he said.
NABARD District Development Manager Vijay Neehar was present.