Open sun drying is the traditional method employed by fisherfolks in most parts of the country to dry fish and other marine products. However, often sun-dried products were poor quality with insects, pests, and microorganisms and it is highly depending on prevailing weather conditions. To overcome these limitations, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin has developed low cost, energy efficient and eco-friendly solar dryers with LPG, biomass or electricity backup heat source for continuous and hygienic drying of fish even duringoff-sunshine hours. ICAR-CIFT solar hybrid fish dryers are gaining attention among the young entrepreneurs, fisherfolks and women self-help groups (SHG) involved in the dry fish business as a viable alternative.
A small fisherfolk women group led by Smt.Valsa Vasu andSmt.Anitha Sajeev,Nayarambalam CDS,Ernakulam, has installed a 20 Kg solar-electrical hybrid dryer for the production of hygienic and quality dry fish.The dryer was inaugurated on 25th November 2020 bySmt. Savitha Raghu (Chairperson, Nayarambalam CDS) in the presence of Dr. Murali S (Scientist, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin), and other officials from ICAR-CIFT, Cochin. Members from Nayarambalam Grama Panchayat and general public attended the function.