Dried Fish Group

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This project started in June 2009 in Mirissa South, providing material to a group of eight women. Since the women already had the skills to dry fish, Shoba and Transrural Trust assisted them with the funding. In August 2009 the group made 20kg of Maldivian fish (from 100kg of raw materials). The anticipated profit for 20kg of fish is 6,000/- between 8 women, this will see each woman make 865/- per batch for about 12 hrs of work each. Living costs are estimated at around 280/- per day, so this would provide approximately three days of living allowance for 12 hours of work. Some of the women are also generating an income from lace making and tailoring, so this is a way of diversifying their income. The women work on a rota basis to make dried fish.  Whilst it is drying in the sun, someone must always be there to watch over it so that the crows don’t steal it. The future plan is to use low-cost, locally manufactured solar dryers in order to protect the fish during the drying process and to make it more efficient. Another idea for the future is to link such user groups in the south of the island with new producer groups in the north. Since the ending of hostilities in the north of Sri Lanka, the Government of Sri Lanka actively promotes collaboration between Sinhalese and Tamil people. We hope that the project will link fish producing groups in (mainly Tamil) Jaffna with fish drying groups in (mainly Sinhalese) Galle and Matara, within the same Shoba Society.