Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Women, Child Development & Mission Shakti Department and World Fish signed an MoU in a virtual ceremony for inclusion of fish and fish-based products in Supplementary Nutrition Programme for children (3 to 6 years), pregnant and nursing women and adolescent girls at 50 Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) of Mayurbhanj district on pilot basis. The five-year technical collaboration between the WCD Department and World Fish was signed during the ceremony chaired by the Development Commissioner today.
On the advice of the Technical Advisory Group, consisting experts from National Institute of Nutrition, CFTRI, ICMR-RMRC etc, it has been decided to include fish in Supplementary Nutrition Programme.
The objective of the MoU is to scaling up the initiative; training & empowering Mission Shakti Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) involved in nutrition-sensitive fish production systems in Gram Panchayat tanks; fish processing & market linkage; dissemination of the benefits of fish-based nutrition through Social & Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) materials; leveraging nutrition protagonist Tiki Mausi and documenting and sharing learnings with stakeholders.
Women SHGs in the coastal fishing villages will also be trained for seeking business opportunities in solar dried fish and fish powder following food safety standards of FSSAI, the State government said in a statement.
Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said such innovation will go a long way in accelerating nutrition status in the state. He hoped that it will not only make best use of locally available fisheries resource but will also economically empower women in the long run.
Gareth Johnstone, Director General of World Fish informed that technical experts from World Fish would support women SHGs in preparation of fish powder using hygienically solar fish driers on a pilot basis over next six months. ICAR, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin, an India research partner of World Fish will supply the low cost poly house solar fish driers for this program.