Developing non-fishing livelihoods is a real challenge for development workers, they are struggling to do that – Most of the efforts show no progress whatsoever,
Given the literature reviewed, referred, it appears that attempts are being carried out to conduct trainings for fisher communities to start non fishing livelihoods. But the results are not fruitful, often the communities do not continue with the introduced livelihoods. “ A mistake that gets repeated in the small scale fisheries development activities”
When one project ends with a list of livelihoods – another repeats the same with the communities and fishers start the same livelihood one project after the other. Fishers are merely regarded as Recipients, and they are supposed to choose a livelihood from a pre-defined list, - The irony is though such attempts prove to be failures, the development organizations one after the other repeat the same mistake.
A fact that we can identify – given the past projects in fishers communties
Let us look at the causes for the mentioned problems ! – a detail out approach towards them,
These are the key causes that lead to this situation; -
Most importantly, lack of understanding about the social aspects – which are more powerful factors in small scale fisher communities, - I would say they are the driving factors behind – what/how fishers make choices !
When introducing Aquaculture, or any other pre-defined livelihood option, - often analysis or studies have not been carried out / efforts have not been taken to understand the “ community led mechanisms (self governance systems), How they function ? What sort of role they play or – what sort of livelihood diversification or enhancement mechanism they have ?
What happens in the end !, when these list of livelihood options fail, “ Aquaculture is introduced as an alternative livelihood option, one of the justifications behind this is “ Aquaculture is related fishing , so it does not give a sense of idea “ moving out of fishery”. Therefore, it is believed that “ such livelihoods are sustainable”. But, what happens in the end is worse than the former.
Aquaculture requires a lot of investment; usually small scale fishers can not afford. (The irony is most economic analysis show that it is not). When this happens, aquaculture is grabbed by big businessmen, they grab the opportunity for a lucrative business plan. At the end of the day, fishers become the workers under them, leading them from bad to worse.
Failure to understand the market forces behind – them aquaculture related
This is based on the report “ Smash and Grab”, this shows aquaculture related conflicts. How this happens is interesting to study, - when fishers can not afford to run aquaculture related business, this is grabbed by businessmen, and fishers become the workers under them. Not only that, but also the resources (natural) on which fishers were dependent will come under the control of big businessmen. A good case study is – Chilika lagoon fishery in Orissa state, India.
This is based on the report “ Assessing Opportunities for Livelihood Enhancement and Diversification in coastal fishing communities” by Venkatesh Salagrama and Thaddeus Koriya – Please read the next slide our learnings to get on with the next session;
To put it shortly, our experiences shows the non fishing livelihoods that are within their fish chain (fish market chain) are more sustainable when introduced to the fisher communities. There are a lot reasons to make them continue such livelihoods. To do that, we need identify their fish market chain in a particular location, which in fact needs to be carried with them.
So, this is a generic market map of a product. When we develop a market map like this with the fisher communities, and those involved in taking fish up to consumers from fishers,we were able to draw a map like this. The beauty of this tool is that this maps out all the constraints issues in each link, they can be either related to enabling environment or services. Of course these issues can be solved through this analysis with facilitating discussion among the relevant groups. Most importantly, this issues can be opportunities for new livelihoods for fishers communities themselves. Most of them can non fishing livelihoods and are within their fish chain ( their own social, economic enviorment)
When analysis, these are livelihood options that we see in the market chain itself. In other words, these are the requirements that need for the fish market chain to function effectively. If they can be converted into livelihood options for fisher communities, we find that they are more sustainable and fishers do continue them. There are a lot case studies that we can talk of.
These are the general options that development workers most often come up with – in preplanned list for fishers to select one or two of them. And most of reports plus experience show they are not sustainable and few continue them, or the very exceptional cases continue them and this fact is usually attributed to “ entrepreneurship skills”’
Why the livelihoods options identified in the market map work ? These are some of the factors
Let us look at the advantages of market mapping and participatory market system development approach towards developing non fishing livelihoods and these advantages themselves ensure the sustainability of such introduced livelihoods.
I will upload my full paper later on, ----
Developing non-fishing livelihoods for small scale coastal fisher communities
Developing non-fishing livelihoods for small scale coastal fisher communities Lessons and experiences from the work in Sri Lanka and India <ul><li>Erwin Rathnaweera & Chopadithya Edirisinghe </li></ul><ul><li>01.11.2011 </li></ul>
Background <ul><li>Findings of this presentation are from the work; action researches done by Practical Action- South Asia </li></ul><ul><li>2005-2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Coastal sites, southern, eastern, northern ,western - Sri Lanka </li></ul><ul><li>Studies in states in Orissa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu- India </li></ul>
A few factors <ul><li>Lack of understanding about well-established patterns of livelihood enhancement and diversification mechanisms in fishing communities. </li></ul><ul><li>How do fishers make livelihood choices? What factors and processes encourage or constraint such choices? These questions have not been taken for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly, knowledge and expertise of fishers in these areas have been simply overlooked. </li></ul><ul><li>The concept of enhancement and diversification has been presented as a brand new concept “invented” by the development experts. </li></ul><ul><li>Most alternative income generation programs have been driven by the interests and speculations of donors and implementers; fishers have been set aside to be mere “recipients”. </li></ul><ul><li>Fisher participation has been confined to choose an item or two from a pre-determined list of items presented by the development community. </li></ul><ul><li>In the end, such externally driven initiatives have helped neither fishers nor the implementing agencies, leading to further confusion among fisher communities </li></ul>
<ul><li>Not looking at the market map/chain - of sub-sector (boarder market map and opportunities) </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancement and diversification - misinterpreted </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion - “Introducing non - fishing livelihoods” ; gives a sense of idea “ moving out of fishery” </li></ul><ul><li>Ends up with newly introduced list of livelihoods </li></ul>11
Social aspects; <ul><li>Lack of understanding of the well-being objectives of fishers/incentives behind getting into other livelihoods </li></ul><ul><li>Fishers and ecosystem relationship - Anthropological aspects – motivational behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Their way of life, customs/beliefs traditions </li></ul><ul><li>Caste system </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts - power structures </li></ul>15
Bottom-up or community led mechanisms were not observed (Self governance systems)
Aquaculture and conflicts <ul><li>Murder for export. People have been killed in violence linked to he shrimp industry in at least eleven countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines (Smash & Grab, 2003, EJF) </li></ul>
<ul><li>What is livelihood diversification and enhancement ? </li></ul>
<ul><li>Two components of the diversification process: </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical diversification : Initiatives that seek to improve the quality of existing livelihoods through optimizing their performance at different levels in the market chains; called ‘ Livelihood Enhancement Strategies ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Horizontal diversification : Initiatives that seek alternative/ supplementary sources of income outside the current activity seasonally or round the year within or outside fisheries; called ‘ Livelihood Diversification Strategies ’ </li></ul><ul><li>The two are NOT mutually exclusive and can and do co-exist at the individual/household level. </li></ul>12
Why this works ? <ul><li>Within their social & economic environment </li></ul><ul><li>Building on their traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Known power structures </li></ul><ul><li>Social security </li></ul><ul><li>Within their fisheries governance systems (community based, cooperative etc.) </li></ul>
Advantages <ul><li>This looks at the whole fishery as an “industry” (sub-sector) </li></ul><ul><li>Livelihood improve with – sub-sector growth </li></ul><ul><li>Growth provides more opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate the growth of sub-sector as an industry </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen village/divisional level development/leadership </li></ul><ul><li>A mechanism to curb on over- exploitation of fishing resources </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate fisheries management/governance systems </li></ul>