'Helping Ourselves': The Role of Self-help Groups in Poverty Alleviation through Aquaculture

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"Self-help groups (SHGs) are ways for farmers and fishers, especially those who are poor, to come together and work together. They can be a useful entry point for outsiders, promote a supportive local environment, strengthen voices in decision-making and in negotiations with more powerful forces, increase the effectiveness of local actions, and provide easier access to micro-credit and other resources and services. "This case study describes a rural aquaculture development context, in India, the development of SHGs and the concept of a 'one-stop aqua shop', set up and run by a federation of self-help groups in Kaipara village, West Bengal (a pilot state along with Jharkhand and Orissa). It outlines testing new ways to share information, as part of a series of revised procedures and institutional arrangements for service delivery recommended by farmers and fishers and prioritized by government, with support from the Department of International Development, London (DFID) Natural Resources Support Programme (NRSP) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) to the Support to Regional Aquatic Resources Management (STREAM) Initiative."
poverty alleviation, aquaculture, farmers' associations