The two-day Somalia Yemen Development Programme held under the auspices of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) as part of the International Conference on Blue Economy and Aquatic Resources (AQUABE 2019) concluded at Kochi in Friday with the delegates deciding to meet again in Somalia and Yemen to take forward the road map conceived as part of the conference.
The highlight of the two-day international event was the recognition accorded to KUFOS by Indian Ocean Rim Organisation, (IORA) under whose patronage the conference was held.
"KUFOS and vice chancellor A Ramachandran would play a major role in empowering and strengthening the fishing activities of these two countries (Somalia and Yemen) to lift them out of the present economic situation," said Dr Nomvuyo N Nokwe, secretary general, IORA at the conclusion of the conference.
Dr Nokwe described the two-day event as fruitful affair. "This was no ordinary conference. The wealth of data provided by KUFOS and the participating delegates have made us to take decision to meet again within six months with an action plan to resuscitate the fishing sector in these two countries,"said the secretary general.
Earlier addressing the delegates, Prof Ramachandran said that innovation and skill development are the two major spheres in which Somalia and Yemen were found lacking.
"We are willing to share our skills and innovations with the fishermen of these two countries which, I am sure, would be a win-win situation for all stake holders," said Ramachandran.
He also told the delegates from the IORA member nations that KUFOS has set apart seats for students from foreign countries in all its academic progrmmes. "What we are bothered about is the employability of the students passing out from the 32 fisheries colleges in the country. The National Skill Mission has been launched to resolve this issue and we are sure that it would that it will pay rich dividents,"said the KUFOS VC, an authority in industrial fisheries with more than three decades of research and teaching experience.
R Sandhya, additional director, Department of Fisheries , Government of Kerala shared with the delegates about the innovative schemes implemented by the State Government to rejuvenate the fishing sector.
"We have 335 fishing villages and 204 fish landing centres. The marketing strategy formulated by the government has succeeded in getting rid of the middlemen who were playing major role in preventing the fishers from getting their due returns. The fishermen cooperatives and self help groups have changed the fishing sector in the State,"explained Sandhya.
For the delegates from Somalia and Yemen, the concept of fish cooperatives was a new experience and they asked a number of questions about the modalities. "We are going back to our country with a lot of ideas and and information which we hope to implement with slight modification,"said one of the delegates from Somalia