National Webinar on “Evolving Livelihoods for Women in Post Harvest Fisheries: Approaches, Policies and Institutional Support”

A National Webinar on “Evolving livelihoods for women in post harvest fisheries: approaches, policies and institutional support” was organized by ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar on 14 December 2020. The webinar was organised with the objectives; to apprise the participants about the status of and scope for women in fisheries, to emphasize the importance of building self reliance among women in fisheries through entrepreneurial ventures and to create awareness on the policies, programmes and recommendations for promoting entrepreneurship among women. Dr R.C.Agrawal, DDG, Agricultural Education, ICAR graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. In his address, he complimented the Institute’s efforts in organising the important webinar and stressed upon the importance of completeness of technology in terms of its widespread adoption and upscaling. Further, he threw light upon the new educational policy of the Government of India which promotes entrepreneurship. Guest of Honour of the Day, Dr P.S.Pandey, ADG (EP&HS), ICAR highlighted the importance of fisheries in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. He discussed about the plethora of government programmes and initiatives that exists for empowering women in fisheries. In his opening remarks, Dr. S.K.Srivastava, Director ICAR-CIWA briefed about the importance of women in fisheries and the need to mainstream them through various policies and programmes. The key note speech on Impact of COVID 19 Pandemic on the Economies and Livelihoods Dependent on Fisheries was delivered by Dr C.N.Ravishankar, Director, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, Kerala. He spoke about how the pandemic COVID 19 is affecting the lives of fishers and especially how fisherwomen are the worst affected due to the pandemic. He highlighted the technologies of ICAR-CIFT and how these technologies should be utilised for developing women entrepreneurship. He stressed on building collaboration with ICAR-CIWA to work towards women empowerment in the field of fisheries. Dr George Ninan, Principal Scientist & PI of the Agribusiness Incubation Centre, ICAR-CIFT delivered the talk on Women Startups in Fisheries- Role of Agri Business Incubators. He elaborated on the process on agribusiness incubation and shared the success stories of the 17 successful women entrepreneurs nurtured by ABI, ICAR-CIFT. Dr Nikita Gopal, Principal Scientist (Agricultural Economics) in her lecture on Gender in Fisheries- Present Status and Future Roadmap detailed about the status of women in fisheries, the gender biasness existing in the sector, the glaring lack of gender disaggregated data and the need to work in tandem with all the stakeholders to bring about gender equality in fisheries. Dr Shyam S.Salim, Principal Scientist, Agricultural Economics, ICAR-CMFRI, Kochi threw light on the replicable Kerala model of building alternative livelihood options for women in fisheries and how CMFRI acted as bridge between technocrats, industry and rural women. Finally Dr P.S.Ananthan, Senior Scientist, Agricultural extension, ICAR-CIFE, Mumbai delivered the lecture on the “Policies and Programmes for Women in Fisheries”. He spoke about the changing scenario wherein the voice of women are being heard in the different government policies and programmes. The webinar was attended by over 70 participants which included scientists, academicians, scholars and students from different ICAR institutes and SAU’s. The webinar was convened by Dr Tanuja S, Scientist, Fish Processing Technology, ICAR-CIWA and Dr Lipi Das (Principal Scientist, Agricultural Extension, ICAR-CIWA) and Dr Charles J Jeeva (Principal Scientist, Agricultural Extension, ICAR-CIWA) were the co conveners of the webinar.