Veraval Research Centre of ICAR-CIFT has organised a programme on 25th February, 2015 to hand over a Solar Dryer to a group of tribal belonging to Siddi tribe, associated with “Bharat Adim Juth Matsyaudyog Sahakari Mandali” Veraval. Siddi’s are a very well known tribal group in Gujarat. They are known by various names such as Africans of India, Habshi, Badsha etc. They are believed to be of African origin. But there is controversies regarding their actual time of arrival to India. But now Siddis are an integral part of Indian society and falls under primitive tribes. They are generally in occupation like labourers, agriculture farm workers and also known to be associated with fisheries activity like fish vending and fish processing workers etc. ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology under its Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) has given a Solar Dryer to “Bharat Adim Juth Matsyaudyog Sahakari Mandali” in order to empower the Siddis to start small scale enterprise by its own and become self-reliant in due course of time. Before handing over of the Solar Dryer,Veraval Research Centre of ICAR-CIFT has also given training to Siddi Women on fish drying method and operation of solar dryer and provided literature regarding good manufacturing practices of dry fish and operational procedure of solar dryer in local language, Gujarati.
Dr. C.N.Ravishankar Director, ICAR-CIFT handed over the Solar Dryer to Shri Hasam Bhai Jummabhai, President, Bharat Adim Juth Matsyaudyog Sahakari Mandali, Veravalin presence of eminent fish processors of Veraval like Shri Lakham Bhai Bhensla, President Seafood Exporters Association, Gujarat, ShriJagdishFofandi, Vice President, Seafood Exporters Association and President Trawl Owner’s Association,Veraval along with many other fish processors from Veraval.