Let us Proudly Commemorate International Year of Small Scale Fisheries & Aquiculture - 2022

Obtaining public participation to celebrate World Food Day.

On the 12th of October 2021 there was a discussion held on zoom regarding a series of programs to be held for a period of 1 month by the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement and with several other organizations to obtain public participation to mark World Food Day. It is expected to achieve several objectives through this series of programs. The main Objective of the Zoom meeting was to highlight the Right to food of common people.

Many topics were highlighted here such as protecting the food rights of all communities, identifying the problems faced by the average farmers in seed production and distribution. Further problems caused by the intervention of multinational companies in seed production and distribution were also discussed. Market rights and the plight of farmers and the general public in the face of the food market such matters were discussed there.

Representatives from various organizations and sectors such as fisheries, farmers, and plantation sector workers, NGO workers, Community organizations attended the meeting.

Representatives of farmer organizations highlighted the problems that they experience in food production. Many farming families are suffering from problems such as land issues and rising fertilizer prices, seed shortages and high cost of living.

The Fisheries sector members attached to NAFSO in Puttlum district explained the difficulties that small scale fishermen experience, due to the high cost of fuel they have to purchase for small boats and also the cost of fishing gears. These problems have exacerbated the economic hardships of fishermen, leading to a decline in fisheries production and the economic viability of fishermen and their families.

Fisheries representatives from the North of Sri Lanka highlighted a very critical issue that they are experiencing currently due to Indian fishing trawlers. Indian fishermen not only exploit fisher resources but they destroy valuable fishing gears of Sri Lankan fisherman. Fisherman from North request that the Sri Lankan Government should intervene at this stage and help the fisherman to overcome the difficulties they undergo, as the people in North have suffered the 30 years civil war and have no proper income yet.     

Representatives of the Plantation Sector workers explained the appalling experience that they have experienced over more than hundred of years. He said that after working for so many years the workers in the plantation sector have no proper place to stay or any land belonging to them to grow their food for daily needs.

 The severe hardships faced by people in these sectors reduce their contribution to food production, thereby indirectly exacerbating their economic problems and subsequent nutrition and health problems. Lack of proper economic management in the country has led to disruption of food production and weakening of food distribution and the rise of malnutrition and health problems due to such conditions was highlighted at the end of the workshop discussion.

While concluding the meeting participants agreed to conduct public awareness meetings for general public,

and also to organize more discussions with relevant government officials to have some suitable interventions, initiate protest campaigns to draw the attention of the government to intervene the grievance’s of the Ground level food producers.