Community based livelihood options for fisherman community through fish drying and its promotion of market

Fishermen processing fish for drying in Shyamnagar

Fishermen processing fish for drying in Shyamnagar, Shyamnagar, Satkhira, Bangladesh © IUCN, 2014


  • Create income supplement for 10 poor Sundarban dependent fisher Households through organic fish drying and marketing.


Mathurapur village in Shyamnagar Satkhira

Mathurapur is a fisher’s village situated in the bank of Chuna River in the Sundarban neighborhood. It is located in the Munshigonj union of Shymnagar upazilla. The fishers are mostly landless. Male and female of this fisher community are mainly depend on Fishing. Devastation in Aila has affected their livelihoods. Moreover, they are susceptible to Tiger attack. The fishers are below the poverty line and need support to increase their income and decrease dependency on the natural resources and more inland options for income generation.

Target beneficiaries

10 fisherfolk families of Mathurapur village.


  • Organic fish-drying enterprise with market linkage established to support 10 fisherfolk families of Mathurapur village.

Accomplishments and challenges


  • One (1) organic Fish drying  and one Shrimp drying unit established and started seasonal production in 2014.
  • Community members produced vegetables and fattened crabs in the enterprise premises which gave them supplementary income.

 Dry fish enterprise in Mathurapur Village

Dried fish and shrimp in Mathurapur Fish Drying Enterprise


  • Quality of production and on time delivery are prerequisites for maintaining reputation in the market. This depends on the supply of raw fish and skill of the fishers, who are actually new to the trade.

Group meeting

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

Property rights and resource tenure:

The project beneficiaries live on the embankment which is a public property. This project has created access for them to collectively take a private land in lease and use it for fish drying as well as seasonal vegetable cultivation and crab farming, which otherwise would not have been possible for them.

 Crab fattening

Gender equality:

The project has included women members of two families who lost their bread earners due to Tiger attack. The enterprise has trained them on shrimp drying and record keeping. Women members play a leadership role in the community enterprise.

 Training of fish drying

Lessons Learned

Introducing a new trade to the fishers was not an easy task. The fishers of Mathurapur used to dry fishes for their household consumption in a limited scale, but when it came to the issue of producing for the market, maintaining a steady quality and quantity of production became important.

The fishers were linked with another fish drying factory and the experts from that factory trained the fishers of Mathurapur about the different techniques of production, which increased the confidence of the fishers.

Also, running a business as a group is something quite new to this community. Maintaining records, accounts and meeting regularly, all of it were new to them. Initially there was some lethargy from some of the male members, because the fish drying business is seasonal and depends on the supply of fish, but with time the situation improved.

Especially when the remaining parts of the enterprise premises was given to the enterprise members for vegetable cultivation and crab fattening, it gave them works that they know and round the year production, rather than depending just on the fish drying business. The diversity of livelihoods gave them the confidence that they needed.

Mona and her workmates doing vegetable gardening at the Fish drying enterprise premises

Project Facts



Mathurapur village, Munshiganj union, Shyamnagar, Satkhira, Bangladesh



24th Feb 2014 to 23rd Feb 2015

MFF Grant Amount

BDT 599,700

Co-financing Partner

The grantee, Sudipti Somaj Unnayan Sangstha cofinanced 2,228$ in-cash to establish the enterprise.

Implementing Partner

sudipti logo

Sudiptee Somaj Unnayan Sangstha

Munshiganj, Shyamnagar

Satkhira, Bangladesh

'We can earn more from the forest than the business, but the risk associated with the forest is very high. We always wanted a better option for the next generation of the village, this enterprise could be one of such options'

Mona, Member of the Organic Fish Drying Enterprise of Mathurapur Village

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