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Ministry of FAHD Organizes Webinar on ‘Potential & Role of Fisheries Cooperatives’

According to Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary of Fisheries, with increased production and productivity in the Indian fisheries sector, the government is focusing more on establishing cooperatives to enable small-scale fishers to access institutional credit, quality inputs, transportation, logistics, and other services through collectivization.

Shivam Dwivedi
Fishes
Fishes

On Friday, 22 July 2022, the Department of Fisheries (DoF), Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy, will host a webinar on the "Potential and Role of Fisheries Cooperatives." This was the 14th webinar hosted by the department to commemorate the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which marks the 75th anniversary of India's independence.

Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries (DoF), Government of India (GOI), presided over the event, which was also attended by Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary (Inland Fisheries), Dr. J Balaji, Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries), and other Department officials. This webinar was designed to provide a forum for discussion about the critical role of fisheries cooperatives in bringing prosperity to the lives of fish farmers, leading to a more holistic sectoral development.

More than 100 people attended the webinar, including expert panellists, fishers, farmers, entrepreneurs, members of fisheries cooperative societies, fisheries officials from various States/UTs, faculty from State Agriculture, Veterinary, and Fisheries universities, Fisheries cooperative officers, Scientists, students, and other stakeholders from the fisheries value-chain across the country.

According to Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary of Fisheries, with increased production and productivity in the Indian fisheries sector, the government is focusing more on establishing cooperatives to enable small-scale fishers to access institutional credit, and quality inputs, transportation, logistics, and other services through collectivization.

Sagar Mehra, JS (IF), discussed the significance of fisheries cooperatives in the country. Mehra spoke about the importance of institutionalizing fisheries cooperatives in India. He also mentioned that because fisheries is a new industry, there is a need to learn from the best practices in the dairy and agriculture industries and apply what he has learned to develop cooperatives in the fisheries sector.

PMMSY FFPOs scheme aims to achieve inclusive and sustainable transformation of the fisheries sector through the establishment of 720 FFPOs with a total investment of Rs. 135 crores. While the PMMSY will establish 500 FFPOs, the remaining 220 FFPOs will be established through the convergence of the ongoing FPO Scheme with the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, GoI. With the assistance of NCDC and the National Fisheries Development Board, the Department of Fisheries has made a head start in establishing 90+ FFPOs worth Rs. 47.80 crores.

The government envisions a critical role for Fish Farmers Producer Organizations (FFPOs) in boosting growth and competitiveness in the fisheries sector under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). While the government encourages states and territories to mobilize members and submit proposals for establishing fisheries cooperatives, it is critical to establish a handholding mechanism and build the capacity of member fish farmers/fishers from the start of any cooperative or FFPO. This scheme seeks to facilitate the development of a viable and sustainable fish farming income generation model that promotes the socio-economic development and well-being of fishing communities holistically.

During the expert panel sessions, Sandeep Kumar Nayak, Director General, NCP; Dr. K.P. Rajan, Director, DNS Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Patna; Dr. S. Noorjahan Beevi, Additional Director of Fisheries, Tamil Nadu; and Anil Rana, Board of Director, AgriOrganic Producer Company Ltd, Una, HP shared their valuable insights. The forum was open for interactive discussion near the end, with a wide range of questions and answers from all participants.

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