To promote seaweed cultivation, fisherwomen were provided with subsidies at a programme in which Chief Minister Jayalalithaa inaugurated the project through videoconferencing on Wednesday.
With the objective to protect the East Coast and increase revenue among the fisherfolk of Punnakayal village in Thoothukudi, this project on seaweed farming was implemented by forming ‘Amma’ groups under the guidance of Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Agriculture Production as coordinator by integrating a few State government schemes.
Each of the group comprises 20 members and five groups had been formed at Punnakayal.
The livelihood support for the fisherwomen would be ensured as the project offers additional means of income generation, sources said. Rafts for seaweed culture would be erected near the groynes, off the Punnakayal Coast. This project was implemented under the guidance of Fisheries College and Research Institute, a constituent college of Tamil Nadu Fisheries University with the funding support from Bank of India, Thoothukudi.
Seaweeds produced by Amma groups would be purchased and marketed by a Kumbakonam-based agency. “An expenditure of Rs. 4,27, 500 would be incurred for a raft for a group. Of this cost, beneficiaries in the group will enjoy 50 percent subsidy and the bank will provide the rest of the amount,” sources said.
About 200 to 260 kilograms of seaweed could be produced from a raft after a period of forty five days and the cost of one kilogram is Rs.35.
In future, 500 more “Amma Groups” would be formed in Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai districts for empowering the socio-economic status of fisherfolks, sources added.
Collector M. Ravikumar along with Joint Director of Fisheries R. Amal Xavier and other officials from Department of Fisheries observed the proceedings through video conference.