THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Innovation is the success mantra of the Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC) which is poised for a big leap in the food industry in the state.
Fish Maid, the corporation’s project to market safe fish delicacies through a wide networks, will soon change its future for good, according to the officials.
“We have sourced the technology of around 40 varieties of value-added fish products developed by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) under National Agriculture Innovative Project (NAIP) to be sold under the Fish Maid brand,” said Dr K Ampady, managing director of the company. The project will be launched by February-end and 26 products and 10 kiosks would be included in the first phase, he said.
The Corporation aims to provide provide employment to four persons in the kiosk and around 30 at the production centre at Sakthikulangra.
The project aims at converting the 30 per cent of harvested fish into valuable products and there by increasing the income of fishermen per fishing effort. Self Help Groups like Society for Assistance to Fisherwomen (SAF) are used in this project for production. The decentralised production coupled with centralised quality control mechanisms and strong marketing efforts will ensure more income to fisher families. Low priced fishes which have high content of protein and omega 3 fatty acids are used providing increased nutritional value to consumers at affordable cost.
“The corporation was established to enhance the livelihood of the fisherfolk and we have plans to open to two more production centres in Ernakulam and Kannur for which works would be started this year,” Ampady said.
A single centre could manufacture five tonnes of products an year.The Corporation’s major revenue earner however is infrastructure development for government projects for the fisherfolk which constitutes 90 per cent of its revenue.
Various innovative projects helped the company make a quantum leap in its revenue from `71 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal to `45 crore in the past fiscal. Product marketing would become a significant revenue earner in a couple of years with the launch of a slew of projects, including dry fish marketing, the officials said.
The packaged dry fish products of the company would hit the market during Onam season. Initially four varieties - shrimp, anchovies, silver belly and lizard fish.
KSCADC, a state government company, was launched in 2008 as an implementing agency for the development plans for the fisherfolk.
The corporation has set a target of `150 crore turnover this year exclusively through infrastructuredevelopment works.