The grant project, from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction announced by the Government of Japan, will pilot new ways to generate income in the fishing communities in selected districts that have less risk, are more productive and less vulnerable to natural disasters.
The project will help in setting up a fully serviced fishing village complex in these districts. It will help about 1,000 people and will serve as a model for replication in other districts. The fishing village will support a range of fishing-related activities like fish curing, vending, marketing and trading, and even ice production and supply.
The village will also nurture fish processing and marketing through special outlets, as well as new low-energy fish processing techniques and coastal market infrastructure for hygienic fish marketing. In addition, cooperative retail outlets will be established. The project will restore 1,000 acres of small farmlands, establish small-scale milk dairies with market links, develop organic vegetable farms, establish agro-processing cooperatives, and provide training to improve production process of traditional products.
Environment-friendly fish-breeding activities, like inland aquaculture farms for breeding high value fish and cage farming in the backwaters, will also be supported to provide long-term jobs for about 1,000 people and increase fish production. “To accelerate economic recovery in the affected areas, there is a need to restore, initiate, and facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable livelihood activities,” said A.K. Jorgensen, an ADB Principal Urban Specialist. Fishing is the dominant industry along the coast, so its destruction by the tsunami adversely affected all communities in the area. Many people had fisheries-related jobs or businesses that suffered, while the whole local economy experienced a serious slump. The Government, NGOs, and beneficiaries will contribute $700,000 equivalent toward the project’s total cost of $5.7 million. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Department in T.N. and the Department of Disaster Management in Kerala are the executing agencies of the project, which will be carried out over three years.