United Artists Association (UAA)

Project Theme

Small Holder Agriculture & Climate Change

Target Group

Women

Project Period

01 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2014

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Introduction

In the past, the livelihoods of fisher folk communities living on the coastal areas of Orissa have been purely dependent on marine fishing. In more recent years, changes in climatic conditions, rise in sea temperature, sea water pollution from garbage and chemicals from an ever increasing number of industries, and fast vanishing mangroves from the coast, have resulted in a drastic fall in the local fish catch. This has had a negative impact on the lives of fishing families across the eastern coast of India. Data available from the Department of Fisheries, for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09 shows a significant decline in fish catch by15% and 27.8% respectively. Unstable household income has a negative impact on education, health and other socio-cultural aspects of the community, and at the same time increases the risk of falling into the trap of indebtedness to unscrupulous local money lenders. The debt trap, combined with the strong presence of outside traders at fish landing points and lack of information regarding external market have further hindered fisher folk communities to get a fair price for their catch.

Impact by partner
  • Brand registration and obtaining a quality certificate: Samudram Producer Company is now formally registered and has received a certificate from: the International Quality Management System (IQSM) in New Delhi, the regional franchise of “Joint Accredited System of Australia and New Zealand” (JAS-ANZ), and the authorised agency for 22000-2005 certification of quality production process.
  • Consolidation of accounting procedures and systems: Samudram institutions and project staff have consolidated their books of accounts and all records have been updated across all Samudram institutions. The SHG accounts are in the process of being audited by an external Chartered Accountant.
  • An operational manual has been prepared for the Samudram Society and Samudram Producer Company: this captures ownership, management (planning, control and implementation related systems and procedures) and benefit sharing mechanisms.
  • A Samudram website www.samudramodisha.com has been developed and linked with ‘Indian Yellow Pages.com’ ‘to promote Value added fish products.
  • Support to develop alternative livelihoods has been provided to 200 Samudram members.
  • 10 Samudram leaders and project staff visited a producer company in Madurai on an exposure tour aimed at capacity building.
  • 320 Samudram leaders (up to the end of May 2013) participated in various capacity building programmes on quality control, packaging, managing procurement, quality stocking, delivery mechanism and record management, leadership development, managerial skills, Right to Education and so on.
  • More than 700 leaders and Samudram members participated in various community mobilisation processes to improve the quality of education, demand their right to livelihoods and access to government welfare schemes at the village, block and district levels.
  • Schools in most project villages have maintained a 100% enrollment rate, with close monitoring of NSS leaders of Samudram. Currently, 35 leaders from 28 SHGs are active members of School Management Committees in the project villages.
  • Election of governing bodies has been completed in all 237 SHGs, as part of the SHGs’ democratic processes,. Many SHGs have elected new leaders, which has altered the leadership at NSS and DLF levels.
  • After a very intensive discussion process with all the SHGs, members have agreed on the unit cost for each share of the Samudram Producer Company, and also the minimum share holding as 5 shares per member. The share money will provide working capital for Samudram.
  • Up to March 2013, 124 new families have benefited from Samudram’s market access services.
  • Up to March 2013, 16 SHGs have been linked with banks and received Rs.14,070,000 as a direct loan and another 11 SHGs have applied to the banks for a loan. 32 SHGs received Rs. 2,000,000 under the Mission Shakti programme.

Case Study

“When my daughter had passed the matriculation with a first class her father tore off the mark-sheet saying that there is no need for her further study, and I could not agree more that at that time, Samudram (a federation of Women Fish workers) helped me with an enhanced income against my fish catch and I could not only admit my daughter for the 12th standard but also got her a bicycle for commuting, without her father any longer intervening”. Says Jyoti Malick of Oshongo village of Balasore district, “