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Govt to Sign MoU with ONDC to Boost Digital Commerce in Indian Fisheries

The government’s involvement with ONDC underscores the collective commitment towards leveraging digital commerce for the advancement of the fisheries sector in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt to Sign MoU with ONDC to Boost Digital Commerce in Indian Fisheries (Photo Source: @FisheriesGoI/X)
Govt to Sign MoU with ONDC to Boost Digital Commerce in Indian Fisheries (Photo Source: @FisheriesGoI/X)

As the Department of Fisheries (GoI) prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a major advancement in the Indian fisheries sector is expected on February 19, 2024. The event, scheduled to take place at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi, will witness the presence of key dignitaries including Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala, and Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr. L Murugan.

Digital Platform for Fishermen and Stakeholders

This partnership between the Department of Fisheries and ONDC aims to provide a digital platform for various stakeholders in the fisheries sector, including fisherfolks, fish farmers, producer organizations, entrepreneurs, self-help groups (SHGs), fishermen cooperatives, and others. By leveraging digital commerce, these stakeholders can access wider markets, expand their reach, and tap into a larger customer base.

Benefits of Collaboration Between Department of Fisheries & ONDC

The collaboration between the Department of Fisheries and ONDC is expected to bring about numerous benefits. By implementing technology-driven solutions, the efficiency, collectivization, and competitiveness of small-scale producers and marketers in the fisheries sector will be enhanced. Additionally, the adoption of digital technical solutions is anticipated to lead to enhanced trust, reduced transaction costs, increased market reach, improved transparency, heightened competitiveness, innovation, and employment generation.

Seamless Integration and Capacity Building

Furthermore, the collaboration aims to facilitate seamless integration among producers, processors, and distributors within the fisheries sector. This integration will enable efficient supply chain management, value chains, and improved market access. Additionally, capacity building initiatives and educational workshops will be conducted to raise awareness among MSMEs, startups, SHGs, small and marginal fishermen, fish farmer producer organizations, and other stakeholders in the fisheries sector.

Empowering Fishermen Through Digital Commerce

ONDC, established as a Section 8 company under the auspices of DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, seeks to promote open networks for the exchange of goods and services over digital platforms. By providing a direct channel between producers and consumers, ONDC aims to reduce reliance on intermediaries, thereby increasing profits for fishermen and lowering prices for consumers. This initiative will also offer scale of economy to marginal fishermen engaged in scattered business through a common digital platform for their products.

ONDC's Growth and Impact

With over 6.3 million transactions recorded in November 2023 across 600+ cities, ONDC has demonstrated its reach and impact in the digital commerce landscape. Presently, over 3000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and around 400 Self-Help Groups (SHGs), micro-entrepreneurs, and social sector enterprises have joined the network, expanding its geographical coverage and stakeholder base.

Transforming the Fisheries Sector

The fisheries sector is increasingly recognized as a sunrise sector with vast potential for equitable and inclusive growth. The Government of India has been at the forefront of transforming the sector through initiatives such as the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund. With an average annual growth rate of 10.87% since 2014-15, the sector has demonstrated remarkable progress, driven by the solidarity of fishers, Fish Farmer Producer Organizations (FFPOs), cooperatives, and other stakeholders.

As the fisheries sector continues to grow, it is imperative to focus on holistic development and welfare initiatives for all stakeholders across the value chain, particularly FFPOs. These organizations serve as pillars of resilience and growth within the sector, and efforts must be made to ensure their prosperity and well-being.

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