Fish trade: women join hands against middlemen menace

Linked with Chitamma – India.

Published on The Hindu, vy Sib Kumar Das, 26/05/2007.

HUMMA (GANJAM DT.): Women of fishermen community in Ganjam district have got united to reduce the number of middlemen in the dry fish trading.

Weekly dry fish `haat’ at Humma is one of largest dry fish markets in Orissa. In the fishermen community it is the women who do the trading.

But the women, involved in dry fish trading at Humma haat complain that even at the `haat’ they do not good profit due to menace of middlemen who do not let themselves to deal with traders from outside directly.

Organisation formed: The women of the fishermen community have formed an organisation named `Samudram’ to get united to solve their problems and chalk out plans for development of their community as men folk of this community spend most of their time at sea catching fish. Usually the women involved in dry fish manufacturing and trading do not get proper return of their produce as the middle men create distress sell situation at the market by keeping the price low for the primary producers.

These women are now trying to form a cooperative and send their produce to Guwahati, which is said to be the largest dry fish market in our subcontinent.

According to B.Chitamma, president of the Samudram, they had sent a team to Guwahati to explore the market.

According to her, there is ample demand for dry fish prepared from sardine and ribbon fish in Guwahati market which are produced in large quantity in Ganjam district. “There are around seven middlemen involved in the recent trading of dry fish,” says P. Sitamma, a regular dry fish trader at Humma haat.

Now `Samudram’ will collect dry fish from producers and send it to Guwahati directly. They are expected to start sending their produce to Guwahati from July this year.

Training: … (full text).

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