Category Archives: B. Meenakumari

Women lead team that wins Indian technology award

We are pleased to highlight this recent Indian technology award to a team of largely women professionals. Congratulations to Dr Leela Edwin, Dr Nikita Gopal and Dr Meenakumari and their colleagues!

CIFT Press Release, July 2014

Shri Ananth Kumar, Hon'ble Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, presenting the  Award to Dr. Leela Edwin, Team Leader and other team members (from left Dr. Ajith Peter, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Dr. B. Meenakumari & Dr. Saly N Thomas). Shri Nihal Chand, MoS, looks on. Photo: CIFT

Shri Ananth Kumar, Hon’ble Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, presenting the Award to Dr. Leela Edwin, Team Leader and other team members (from left Dr. Ajith Peter, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Dr. B. Meenakumari & Dr. Saly N Thomas). Shri Nihal Chand, MoS, looks on. Photo: CIFT

A team of researchers from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi, received the 4th National Awards for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals & Downstream Plastics Processing Industry (Runner Up) in the field of Polymer Science and Technology from Hon’ble Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, Shri. Ananth Kumar. Also present was Shri. Nihal Chand, MoS, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Govt. of India. The award was presented on July 17, 2014 at a function held at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi. The award instituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, was presented to the team for their work on “Upgradation of Treated Rubberwood Using FRP Sheathing for Fishing Boat Construction”. Dr. Leela Edwin, Principal Scientist and Head of Fishing Technology Division is the team leader. Others in the team are Dr. P Muhamed Ashraf, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Dr. M Ajith Peter, Dr. A Sreeja, Dr. Saly N Thomas and Dr. B Meenakumari.

A fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) rubberwood canoe. Source: CIFT

A fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) rubberwood canoe. Source: CIFT

“Technology Evaluation Model for Rural Innovations – Case Study of Rubberwood Fishing Craft for the Small-scale Fisheries Sector” by Nikita Gopal, Leela Edwin in Fishery Technology, Vol 50, No 4 (2013).

E-mail: Nikita Gopal

Abstract: The use of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) for fishing craft construction is an innovation introduced by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin, Kerala, India. Technology evaluation is an integral part of any technology development to place the technology in its proper perspective. This paper presents a simple model of evaluating the technology by describing the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) cycle and assessing impact through patent profiling, cost evaluation and looking at the social benefits. It has been observed that introduction of the technology has made available an alternative timber to the traditional boat building industry. Reduction in cost of construction to the tune of 28% and overall reduction of 35-40% in maintenance costs has been possible. FRP sheathed rubberwood fishing crafts are maintenance free. A patent profiling of the technology revealed that for use of rubberwood in traditional fisheries for canoe construction, there are no patents except for the ones filed by CIFT. Social benefits include availability of a cheap fishing craft for fishing operations which is the sole livelihood option of the traditional fishermen.

GAF4 Spotlight was on Gender and Change

The full report, program and all slide presentations from the 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries are NOW ONLINE!

Fishery changes shift working spaces, create and destroy jobs and bring overlaps in women’s and men’s roles. 

At the end of GAF4, student volunteers and Piyashi DebRoy (winner of GAF4 AquaFish CRSP Best Student Paper award congratulate all GAF4 participatns.

Congratulations to GAF4 participants from our student volunteers from Chonnam National University, Moon Eun-Ji (left) and Bak So-Hyeon (right), and Piyashi DebRoy (center and winner of GAF4 AquaFish CRSP Best Student Paper award) .

“Gender and fisheries studies, therefore, are increasingly addressing these changes and how women and men were affected by them,” said Dr Nikita Gopal who led the Program Committee that organized this highly energetic and successful event.  GAF4 also continued to fill out the global picture showing that women and gender issues are still not properly understood in the fisheries sector.”

Feedback declared GAF4 the most successful and highest quality of the 6 women in fisheries/gender in aquaculture and fisheries events held by the Asian Fisheries Society over the last 15 years.

On you will find:

A Future Gender Roadmap in Indian Fisheries Research

Women fish traders, India. Photo: ICAR "Gender in Fisheries: A Future Roadmap"

Women fish traders, India. Photo: ICAR “Gender in Fisheries: A Future Roadmap”


Getting gender into the fisheries and aquaculture agenda requires large and fundamental changes inside the organisations that support the sector, including the research institutes. Last year, the fisheries institutes of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), one of the world’s largest agricultural research systems, held a pioneering workshop to plan a future roadmap for their gender in fisheries work. Dr B. Meenakumari, the Deputy  Director General (Fisheries) for ICAR, recently alerted that the report of the workshop and its outcomes is now published.

The report, “Gender in Fisheries: A Future Roadmap“,  was edited by Nikita Gopal, Arathy Ashok, Jeyanthi, P., Gopal, T. K. S. and Meenakumari, B. and published by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin, the workshop hosts. It contains a short review of gender studies carried out in ICAR Fisheries Institutes,  a description of the women in fisheries programme of the International Collective of Smallscale Fishworkers (ICSF),  details of the workshop which involved 47 experts from ICAR and universities and NGOs,  and video conferencing with FAO Experts , plus the outcomes (the Future Roadmap). The file can be downloaded here.

The Roadmap highlights, among others, the following strategies for mainstreaming gender towards equity and empowerment

  • Gender disaggregated data on different roles of women in fisheries
  • Development, refinement and popularization of appropriate women friendly technologies
  • Gender responsive research and teaching with an orientation towards gender issues in fisheries
  • Capacity building in ICAR system for gender mainstreaming
  • Curriculum in gender mainstreaming in fisheries education
  • Documentation of ITK in fisheries, tapping the grassroot level wisdom
  • Gender units in ICAR Fisheries Institutes
  • Development of women supportive marketing infrastructure
  • Need for special programmes to facilitate access to credit and finance
  • Formation and strengthening of women self help groups
  • Improved access to education to fishing communities
  • Strengthening co-operatives in fisheries
  • Application of ICTs for women empowerment
  • Need for ensuring women’s participation in implementation of policies and programs
  • Sensitization of fisherwomen on best utilization of locally available resources
  • Allocation of funds for need based schemes
  • Convergence of different departments and agencies on gender sensitive policies, programmes and implementation strategies