BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government on Tuesday introduced fish and fish-based products in Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) on a pilot basis in order to reduce malnutrition among the vulnerable people in the hard to reach areas of the State.
Initially, the fish based products will be added in the SNP diet chart for children, aged between three and six years, pregnant and nursing women and adolescent girls in 50 Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) of Mayurbhanj district.
The Department of Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti (WCD&MS) inked a pact with WorldFish for a five-year technical collaboration to pilot and scale it up as part of the SNP. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the pilot project.
Principal Secretary of Department of WCD&MS Anu Garg said fish is culturally accepted as staple food in the local diet. "To make the pilot project a success, we will train ICDS staff in all 30 districts on the benefits of fish-based nutrition," she said.
As per the initiative, dried fish products will be provided in the Take Home Ration (THR) to adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women for six months. It will be scaled up on the basis of the outcome. "WorldFish will provide technical support for the initiative and improve the livelihoods of women and local communities through fish and aquatic foods," said WorldFish Director General Gareth Johnstone.
Women SHGs involved in nutrition-sensitive fish production systems in gram panchayat tanks and fish processing will also be trained and provided market linkage. Mission Shakti Director Sujata Kartikeyan said the initiative will be a win-win situation both for the communities and women SHG members. Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra released an SOP on the inclusion of dried small fish in the SNP.
Fish based products will be added in Supplementary Nutrition Programme for children, pregnant and nursing women and adolescent girls in 50 anganwadi centres of Mayurbhanj district
Dried fish products will be provided in the Take Home Ration (THR) to adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women for 6 months