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Business is going on at a brisk pace at the weekly dry fish market at Humma in Ganjam district on Sunday.
BERHAMPUR: Dry fish manufacturers of Orissa are yet to get proper marketing network to sell their products outside the State.
Much has been done to train members of marine fishermen community to learn production of value added products of fish catch including dry fish. But till date government has not come up with any scheme to market these products in a collective manner , said M. Parvati secretary of Samudram, an organisation of women of fishermen community.
Even the recently initiated Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) aimed at providing alternative livelihood to traditional marine fishermen community is not having any plans to provide marketing support for products like dry fish and other value products manufactured from fish, said Mangaraj Panda, a social activist working with the marine fishermen community in Orissa. The ICZMP programme only stresses on providing support and training for production of high grade dry fish and other value added fish products, he added. He felt without proper marketing facility these products cannot provide good income to the beneficiaries.
Usually marketing of these products is also done by the women folk of fishermen community. They have to depend on door-to-door marketing or have to depend on local dry fish markets at places like Humma and Rajsunakhala. Weekly dry fish ‘haat' at Humma is one of largest dry fish markets in the State . But the women involved in dry fish trading at Humma haat complain that even at the haat they do not get good profit due to the involvement of middlemen. Middlemen are exploiting farmers by keeping the price low for the primary producers, Ms. Parvati alleged.
‘Samudram' members had started producing upmarket dry fish through modern technology. But they failed to get good price for their produce due to lack of proper marketing network.
They had even tried to market their produce directly outside the State. But they have failed till date due to lack of support from government agencies. According to sources there is demand for good quality dry fish prepared from sardine and ribbon fish in north eastern States. These are produced in large quantity on Orissa coast. Till now there is no proper marketing channel to reach out to this region. Through some private channels dry fish from this area reaches that market but it is alleged that at least seven middlemen gobble up major chunk of profit while the manufacturers get a pittance, Mr. Panda said. The dry fish and other value added product manufacturers are yet to get licence from the department of food processing industries which is a major stumbling block in their marketing, he added.
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