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KSCDAC’s Parivarthanam Launches Website to Empower Coastal Communities and Youth

In Business
February 26, 2021

Parivarthanam, a unique initiative of the Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC) to supply fresh and delectable fish varieties right at consumers’ doorstep, has launched its portal that would help improve socio-economic conditions of coastal communities by forging closer links with industry and enhance the livelihood skills of the youth along the coastline.

The website, http://www.parivarthanam.org provides all the relevant information about KSCADC’s multi-pronged strategies for coastal communities through quality fish supply and marketing; promotion of green energy; and building bridges with industry. It will also help jobless youth in securing gainful employment and help them eliminate skill gaps.

“The launch of the portal is a step towards streamlining our efforts to improve the quality of life of our coastal communities, empower youngsters through skill development and contribute to an appreciable reduction of our carbon footprint,” said Sheik Pareeth, Managing Director, KSCADC.

“Inclusivity from bottom up has always been the policy of this government,” says Dr TM Thomas Isaac, Minister of Finance. “It’s not just college dropouts and Gulf returnees; we are mopping up all available human resources to arm this initiative, and I feel the Parivarthanam model has potential for scaling up and can be applied across the Indian coast.”

Fresh food delivery has been a stumbling block even for e-commerce giants like Amazon. Less than 10 percent of the fresh food retail market is online so a robust supply chain that can feed directly to consumers as well as to the e-commerce delivery system will certainly fit the bill.

“Parivarthanam is literally what the sector needs and we are already underway,” says J. Mercykutty Amma, Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry.

“Proper fish handling and hygiene must begin at the time of capture, not just in harbours. Organising the fresh fish supply chain with assured quality from the source is a first for Kerala and maybe even India,” she added. An online marketing system is to be launched as a pilot in Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha Districts, creating a large number of direct jobs.

Parivarthanam ensures the fish is iced in boxes upon capture at sea, closed and transported swiftly on landing, towards the processing centers. It will also provide traceability ensuring the end-consumers are fully aware of the sources and origins of the fish, time of capture and details of fishers involved.

“Kerala has a long tradition of processing seafood to quality standards of Scandinavian countries but this facility was not available for home consumers. Parivarthanam seeks to redirect this processing technology towards home markets and establish a high-quality supply chain to deliver fish to homes,” said Roy Nagendran, Team leader, Parivarthanam, adding that a series of preliminary meetings were held with traditional fisher societies in Kollam and boat owners have expressed keenness and interest in participating with the initiative.

This initiative will be particularly helpful for the fisheries sector that was already reeling from poor harvests, migration of popular species, extreme weather conditions, and excessive fishing pressure even before the onset of the COVID-19, which brought in its wake a growing fear of contamination from wet markets.

Parivarthanam will ensure that all the fish, sourced either from capture or live from the farms, will have to abide by ICAR-CIFT (Central Institute of Fisheries Technology) standards. Every fish product as well as all seafood units of Parivarthanam will carry the quality stamp of CIFT, India’s leading research center in fishing and fish processing. High tech surveillance systems will monitor the temperature of fish all through the supply chain till delivery, ensuring freshness and food safety.

Parivarthanam is also reaching out to all fish producers in Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts, making them an integral part of the supply chain and encouraging them to become entrepreneurs. The project also envisages a range of value-added products that include dry fish, pickles, marinated fish and cutlets among others.

Besides delivering fish to homes, Parivarthanam also focuses on skill development and job creation for college dropouts and Gulf returnees who lost their jobs in the pandemic. Preference will also be given to the kin of women fish vendors whose livelihoods are now threatened by the spate of local fish to home delivery operators post pandemic. Parivarthanam also offers the youth opportunities for part-time jobs and enrollment into the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) courses.