Aquaculture for all

Successful women entrepreneurs receive CMFRI honours

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In recognition of the dedication and perseverance, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has bestowed honours upon Ivy Jose and K G Rethi Kumari for their work related to fisheries and aquaculture.

Ivy Jose and K G Rethi Kumari were awarded honours at the CMFRI Women's Day event

From left: K G Rethi Kumari, Ivy Jose, Chitra Arun and CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan © CMFRI

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research Central Marine Fisheries Institute (CMFRI) has awarded honours to two entrepreneurs, Ivy Jose and K G Rethi Kumari, in recognition of their perseverance and hard work in the fisheries sector.

Rethi Kumari, from Alappuzha's Onattukara, carved a niche in the ornamental fish farming sector, whilst Ivy, a resident of Munambam, Kerala, excelled in the production of a fish manure-based fertiliser. Both women are beneficiaries of CMFRI's Science-Technology Innovation (STI) Hub scheme and were acknowledged for their dedication and management skills in their respective fields.

Beginning as a hobby, Rethi Kumari's passion for ornamental fish farming has since flourished into a successful business, thanks to her ongoing hard work. With scientific training and dedicated efforts, she established “Dear Guppy” - a well-stocked ornamental fish farm.

Participation in a training programme conducted by the National Fisheries Development Board helped Rethi Kumari to expand her business, while a team of experts from CMFRI also provided guidance and visited her farm to offer necessary advice under the STI Hub project. According to her, the entrepreneurial venture generates nearly half of her family's income and creates employment opportunities for other women in the neighbourhood.

Ivy Jose’s entrepreneurial journey began with a training session in organic fish manure production, offered by CMFRI’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra. Inspired by the potential to transform fish waste into a valuable product, Ivy ventured into production, combining the waste with a bacterial inoculum to produce a bio-fertiliser which enhances crop yield and soil quality. Following significant dedication, Jose now runs “Ivy's Agro-hub” near Munambam harbour, and acknowledges the role of CMFRI's STI Hub in materialising her entrepreneurial endeavours.

The honours were awarded at the International Women's Day event hosted by the CMFRI. Attending the event, Chitra Arun - a popular musician, and chief guest at the event - said that financial self-reliance empowers women towards a life of dignity and respect. She stressed the crucial role of family support in fostering women's ambition for both employment and entrepreneurial ventures, emphasising that gender equality should begin at home. “There is a need for teaching boys and girls from a young age that they have equal participation in household chores and other matters”, Chitra Arun added.

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