National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Ministry of Fisheries, AH&D, GoI has organised a National level Workshop on the “Role of cooperatives and federations in fisheries sector-scope for an enhanced role in PMMSY and FIDF schemes” in Hyderabad today. The workshop aimed at involving the fisheries federations in implementation of the government fisheries development schemes for the benefit of fishers through the cooperative system. The programme served as an interactive platform for the fisheries federations to showcase their activities and share their experiences. The federations expressed their interest in exploring various opportunities, provisions available under schemes such as “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) & Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) for the benefit of fishermen and fisherwomen cooperatives. The workshop also highlighted the need to strengthen the fishers cooperatives with due focus to the gaps at the field level and challenges being faced by the cooperatives in different states. Awareness to the officials of fisheries federations was created on various Government of India schemes to enable them in tapping the financial resources from PMMSY and FIDF to help in the development of fishermen cooperatives.
The officials of the fisheries federations from 14 states i.e; Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, National Cooperatives Development corporations (NCDC) and National level fisheries federation i.e; National Federation of Fishers Cooperatives Ltd (FISHCOPFED) have participated in the workshop. Dr. C Suvarna IFS, Chief Executive, NFDB, has addressed the gathering by presenting initiatives of NFDB in encouraging the fisheries cooperatives through various interventions of schemes of Government of India, which includes Fish Farmer Producer Organizations (FFPOs). Also emphasised on the integration and coordination of workflow amongst the primary fishermen cooperative societies (PFCS) at the district and state level fisheries federations. Approaches for filling the gaps by overcoming the constraints, through branding, promotion activities, marketing, knowledge sharing amongst the fishermen cooperatives, conflict resolution mechanisms were discussed so as to make the cooperatives successful. The other dignitaries participated Shri P.D. Dheman, IFS, MD, Madhya Pradesh Fisheries Federation addressed on the role of federation in supporting the development of fishers. Shri. B. K. Mishra, MD (i/c), FISHCOPFED explained the role of the FISHCOPFED in supporting the fishers and the cooperatives and expressed that there are 22000 fishermen cooperative societies operational all over India and there is a need for the empowerment of PFCS in a professional manner. Director (F&TD) NCDC, Shri. Pradhu Paul Raj has presented NCDC activities and their role in developing Fisheries Federations, followed by sharing of experiences and success stories of MatsyaFed, Kerala, TAFCOFED, Tamil Nadu, Assam Fisheries Federation, Assam , Karnataka Cooperative Fisheries Federation, Karnataka, TSFCOF, Telangana, Odisha Fisheries Federation, Odisha, ZOFISHFED, Mizoram, Rajasthan Federation, AFCOF, Andhra Pradesh,, TAFCS, Tripura and Jharkhand State Cooperative Fisheries Federation, Jharkhand . The meeting ended with closing remarks by Dr. C. Suvarana, IFS, Chief Executive. It was expressed that conflicts between the panchayats and the cooperatives need to be resolved with intervention of the state fisheries department. There is a need to focus on the transport, marketing through cold chain development for which federation has to put forth the prime focus to support best price for the fishermen cooperatives and also capacity building programs. KCCs are important to be taken care by the fisher cooperatives and the federations. Overall 50 members participated in the interactive meeting.