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Birbhum district is one of the disadvantaged districts of West Bengal with an extreme climate leaving maximum agricultural land dry most of the time in a year. The ST population comprises almost 7% of the total population of the district. Keeping this in view, ICAR-CIFRI took the initiative to stand by the rural populace belonging to the ST community by extending its support in terms of fisheries inputs as well as technical know-how for generating an alternative livelihood option.

After the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, CIFRI, in collaboration with Rathindra KVK, selected a total of 152 beneficiaries from 16 different SHGs working within the jurisdiction of Rathindra KVK, Sriniketan and extended support through providing fish seed, fish feed and lime under STC and SCSP component since 2021. In this connection, CIFRI has taken a new initiative to support the rural ST women in developing their knowledge and skill in ornamental fish farming practices for generating alternative livelihood options. This initiative is a part of CIFRI’s ‘Mission 3000’, that target to cover 3000 women across the country with active support for their economic empowerment. For this purpose, CIFRI organized one ‘Input Distribution and Demonstration programme’ on Ornamental Fish Farming under STC on 4th July 2023 at the campus of Rathindra KVK, Shrniketan, Birbhum.

Dr. B. K. Das, Director along with his ‘team’ including scientists, technical staff, and research scholar distributed inputs, sensitized the women, and demonstrated the techniques of ornamental fish farming in tanks. Besides, Prof. Arun Barik, Principal, PSB, Visva Bharati, Dr. Gunin Chattopadhyay, Former professor, Visvha Bharati, Dr. Subroto Mandal, Programme Coordinator, Rathindra KVK and Sri K.Mukherjee, District Fishery Officer from the State Fisheries Department were also present in the programme.

On this occasion, ornamental fish along with ornamental fish tanks and ornamental kits have been distributed to 30 nos. of tribal women from various villages of the district. The main objective of the programme was to support the tribal women of this district and uplift their income level as well as livelihood. Overall, the programme was successfully organized under the leadership of the Director of ICAR-CIFRI keeping a satisfactory smile on the faces of the tribal women participants.

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