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Genetic literacy project to be extended to AP

Our Bureau

Kakinada, March 3

THE Chennai-based, Dr M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation would extend the genetic literacy project being implemented in Tamil Nadu Schools, to Andhra Pradesh also.

This was stated by Dr M.S Swaminathan, a noted agricultural scientist, at a meeting at Kobbarichettu Peta in Tallarevu mandal in East Godavari district on Wednesday.

He visited the coastal village and interacted with the self-help groups of women and the eco-development committees formed in the villages to conserve mangroves in the area.

Dr Swaminathan Foundation has been engaged in mangrove conservation in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh for the past seven years after the cyclone of 1996, with its headquarters here, under the supervision of Dr T. Ravishankar, Associate Director.

He said mangroves were absolutely essential for saving lives and livelihoods in coastal areas and the foundation had been making efforts along with other NGOs to educate people to reduce their dependence on mangroves for their needs and the efforts had borne fruit to some extent.

Referring to self-help groups of women in Andhra Pradesh, he said it was very laudable to have such groups, but "three linkages are necessary to make self-help groups economically and ecologically viable".

Appropriate technologies, timely credit and market-driven products were the three pre-requisites for the success of the groups, he opined. He urged the Andhra Pradesh Government to achieve the objectives.

Dr Swaminathan said the local communities should be made to realise that "they have an economic stake in conservation efforts and then only the efforts will succeed". He also urged the media to play a positive role in the effort.

Dr T. Ravishankar, Associate Director, explained the activities of the foundation during the past seven years in mangrove conservation in the State.

Mr M. Satya Rao, the representative of the fishermen, sought greater help to the community to reduce its dependence on mangroves. He sought fishing gear, nets and houses for the people.

Mr S.K. Das, Principal Conservator, Forests, said the State was commercialising the conservation efforts to make them viable. Vana samrakshana samithis had been formed under the joint forest management scheme and forests had been revived on 1,347 square kilometres in the State.

Mr Ch Ramachandra Rao, the State Co-operative Minister, lauded the role of the foundation in mangrove conservation in the area. Dr Swaminathan would release a book - Atlas of mangrove wetlands of India - part two - Andhra Pradesh - here on Thursday.

More Stories on : Education | Bio-tech & Genetics | Andhra Pradesh

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