Rs. 299 crore for development of coastal communities in six districts

Special Correspondent

Project to be spread over eight years

and six districts

Nagapattinam to receive about Rs. 48 crore

NAGAPATTINAM: Fish Marketing Societies (FMS) and micro-enterprise development through SHGs will be promoted through a programme by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), banks and the government to address the livelihood needs of coastal communities.

The Rs. 299-crore project will be spread over eight years and available for the six coastal districts of Nagapattinam, Villupuram, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Kanyakumari.

Among them, Nagapattinam will receive about Rs. 48 crore for its projects.

Speaking to The Hindu, Project Officer, Magalir Thittam, S. Suryakala, who is also in-charge of the IFAD project, said that seven Cluster Resource Centres (CRC) would be set up in the seven coastal blocks of the district from October 16.

These CRCs would be manned by a co-ordinator, a facilitator and a business promoter.

NGOs would also be roped in to spread awareness among people and work with the government on various projects, Ms. Suryakala said. Two NGOs, Sevalaya and Society of DMI, had been identified as facilitating NGOs for the projects, she said.

District Collector M. Jayaraman said that the emphasis would be on providing them employment and financial security through FMSs and by encouraging new micro-enterprises. “We need to build self-reliant coastal communities who are resilient to shocks and can manage their livelihoods in a sustainable manner. This programme will provide these people means to achieve this end and also create infrastructure for sanitation, community development and enterprise development,” he said.

While IFAD will provide nearly 44 per cent of the funds required, the rest will be obtained from banks and micro-finance institutions, and the government, with the beneficiary contributing 15 per cent of the total cost.

The Rural Development Department, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women, Revenue Department, and the departments of fisheries, agriculture and animal husbandry will provide support to the project.

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