Open Source Fisheries (OSF), a Tata Trusts social initiative, will essentially help India achieve a better aquatic balance and assist in increasing the incomes of 150,000 families in India in the next five years. In the financial year 2019-20, OSF has led to an annual incremental income of Rs. 25,000 per household through fisheries, and increased their productivity by almost three times.
What is the Open Source Fisheries programme?
Open Source Fisheries focuses on training the communities to breed and rear fish spawn into fingerlings through fairly simple techniques. Its goal is to help expand and improve inland fish farming and adopt culture fisheries practices to enhance productivity.
Tata Trusts is running OSF across four states (Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura and Jharkhand) in 1240 villages over 19 districts. The livelihood initiative and has positively impacted over 35,000 Households.
Impact of OSF
In FY 19-20, OSF supported more than 1200 fish nurseries in an entrepreneurship model, producing 4.6 Cr fingerlings. The Pond-based integrated livelihoods model has been adopted by more than 1000 farmers in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, engaging in fisheries with duckery, bund plantation (fruits, vegetables, pulses) and poultry. Five self-help groups were established and trained in Jharkhand and Maharashtra to support with allied activities like feed production and net-making.
Open Source Fisheries has been designed to reduce distress migration by providing an additional source of livelihood to the farmers, support the nutritional requirements of the region as well as help meet the fish demands of states which are currently being fulfilled through imports. Despite being a fairly young programme, the initiative has shown a good track record in its first phase, achieving more than 85% of its expected outcome.
“There is tremendous potential for growth in India’s fisheries sector. However, in order to unlock this potential, it is necessary to empower fishers and the fishing communities to adopt sustainable culture fishing practices which will also essentially improve livelihoods of the communities,” said Shashwati Bhunia, Fisheries Theme Lead at Tata Trusts.
The OSF programme is a joint collaboration of Tata Trusts, state governments, and NGOs, and focuses on the necessary shift of knowledge from traditional practices to those of culture fishing. With the aim to develop the required local ecosystem to support and sustain the practices and communities in the long term.
Tata Trusts’ Open Source Fisheries also drives standardization of Package of Practices (PoP) covering the entire fisheries value chain, from breeding, to seed production, seed rearing, marketing, as well as the development of the ecosystem through fishery allied activities, all anchored through strong community institutions.
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