Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal, Satara
Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal (SJSM) founded in 1977 by a group of educated youth from nomadic tribe to promote development of socially and economically backward communities residing in remote villages of Western Ghats around Satara and Raigad districts of Maharashtra. Pollution of river waters and depletion of forest cover inadvertently impacted on the traditional livelihoods (fishing and forest produce) of local Katkari tribe of Mahad and Poladpur blocks of Raigad district. Dwindling fish in the rivers forced majority of Katkaris to migrate to nearby towns and cities for major part of the year. To arrest migration and increase local sustainable livelihood prospects SJSM focused on developing inland fishing in the district which demanded 23.52 lakh fingerling size seeds yearly. The main hurdle was in procuring quality and quantity seeds of Indian Major Carp (IMC) and Common Carp (CC) for stocking in the water bodies.
SJSM’s innovation a Low Cost Hatchery Model, which uses gravity for water supply. It relies on the natural incline of the dams to follow the gravity gradient to supply water from dams to the hatchery unit where fingerlings are reared. SJSM developed this model with the help of Ratnagiri College of Fisheries, and members of local fishing cooperatives for its practical implementation in a year 2010.
Scalability and Impact:
The hatchery has a capacity to produce fingerlings capacity of 5.20 lakh annually. Total spawn production has been 9.69 cr and 172.89 lakh fingerlings released in reservoirs so far. The structure allows breeding of two species (IMC & CC) at the same time, eliminates loss of eggs and spawns during transfer and is maintenance-free (requires about 300 metres space only). Increased income levels of cooperative members from Rs 12,000 to Rs 32–39,000 in 2015. Marketing done by women, and 526 families involved in full time fishing have stopped migrating. The project started with 5 fishing cooperatives (489 members) in 2014 and has expanded to 13 with 887 members. The harvested fish (146.570 tonnes) has a market value of Rs 2,05, 19,800. It can be adopted anywhere at the downstream of the irrigation tanks. Supply of fish throughout the year, better prospects for quality fish, increased productivity and income levels with lucrative market linkages. Increased livelihood prospects for organized fishing communities willing to invest for increasing fish production and alternative income generation. Promote the model to Konkan Lokadhikar Manch, a network of 22 NGOs, where SJSM will involve in capacity building and training of NGO members to promote the Low Cost Hatchery model, develop cages and pen cultures at reservoir sites and increase fish production in traditional village water tanks and farm-ponds.
Awards and Recognition:
Livelihood innovation award from Maharashtra Rural Livelihood Innovation Forum in 2013-’14.