Bhubaneswar: The Women, Child Development & Mission Shakti Department, Odisha Government and World Fish signed an MoU on a virtual mode for inclusion of fish and fish-related products in Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) for children, pregnant and nursing women and adolescent girls at 50 Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) in Mayurbhanj district on a pilot basis.
It is a five-year technical collaboration between the WCD Department and World Fish, said an official release.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Development Commissioner and ACS SC Mohapatra.
The objective of the MoU is to scale up the initiatives; training and 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.
World Fish Director General Gareth Johnstone said World Fish experts 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, will supply the low cost poly house solar fish driers for this programme.
Mission Shakti Director Sujatha Karthikeyan was present