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Govt brings small fishermen on board e-market, consumers to get direct access

IANS | February 19, 2024 03:25 PM

NEW DELHI: The Department of Fisheries on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to promote digital marketing of fish and other aquatic produce which will give a big boost to the earnings of small fishermen.

The MoU was signed here in the presence of the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala, and Minister of State for Fisheries L. Murugan.

Addressing the event, Rupala said that the e-market platform will enable customers to directly buy fish from the farmers online and the fishery industry will be digitised. The domestic consumption of fish will get a boost and small farmers will play a bigger role in the industry, he explained.

The minister noted that the platform will also better inform the consumers on the varied types of aquatic produce that is available for purchase.

The MoU will provide a digital platform for fisherfolks, fish farmers producers organisation, entrepreneurs, SHGs, fishermen cooperatives and other relevant stakeholders in the fisheries sector to access wider markets, expanding their reach and potential customer base, according to an official statement.

The collaboration between the Department of Fisheries and ONDC will facilitate the implementation of technology-driven solutions, improve efficiency, collectivisation and competitiveness of the small scale producers and marketers.

ONDC is a unique platform of e-marketing and will play a significant role in the fisheries sector to connect maximum FFPOs and other fishermen cooperatives. Providing a direct channel between producers and consumers, ONDC will support in reducing the reliance on intermediaries, leading to higher profits for fishers and lower prices for consumers. This initiative will also provide scale of economy to the marginal fishermen engaged in scattered business through a common digital platform for their products, the official statement said.

In the long term, the ONDC network will facilitate seamless integration for harnessing the benefits of collectivisation between producers, processors, and distributors within the fisheries sector, enabling efficient supply chain management, value chains and market access.

Further, this collaboration will facilitate capacity building and raise awareness through educational workshops for MSMEs, start-ups, SHGs, small & marginal fishermen, FFPOs, fishers, and market participants in the fisheries sector.

ONDC is incorporated as a Section 8 company, an initiative by DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, aiming at promoting open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks. It has recorded more than 6.3 million transactions in the month of November’23 across 600+ cities. The sellers and service providers are spread across 500+ cities expanding the geographical coverage of the ONDC network.

Presently, over 3000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) have registered to be a part of the ONDC through various network participants. Also, around 400 Self-Help Groups (SHGs), micro-entrepreneurs and social sector enterprises have been onboarded on the network.

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