Engaging stakeholders to upscale Fisher Friend mobile app for Andhra Pradesh
District-level meeting in Machlipatnam, Krishna district, organised by MSSRF
On December 8, discussions were held to arrive at strategies for the sustainable, long-standing use of Fisher Friend Mobile App (FFMA) among fishers of Krishna District. A total of 25 primary and secondary stakeholders participated from government departments, research institutions, NGOs, educational institutions, fishermen associations, and FFMA users.
The meeting began with welcome note from Mr Srinivasa Rao detailing MSSRF’s work in Machilipatnam with the FFMA, while Mr. Veerabhadra Rao spoke about the purpose of the stakeholder consultation and its significance for Krishna District fisherfolk.
Dr. Velvizihi, Head, Fish for All Centre, Poompuhar, presented an overview of the Fish For All Centre activities, and impacts of the 15-year FFMA journey. Explaining the status of FFMA in different states, she presented a detailed analysis of features and usage in each state. She also highlighted how partnerships at different levels help MSSRF reach expectations from stakeholders and users, strengthening a more formal way to reach all active fishers in our country. FFMA is now being used by one lakh fishers.
A set of district level strategies evolved during the discussion to help upscale and sustain FFMA in Krishna district. Some highlights are below:
Mr. Nagababu, Assistant Director of Fisheries, expressed that need to conduct series of village-level meetings and offered the fisheries department full support with Village Fisheries Assistants to organise such meetings. Fisheries department has already approved the Village Fisheries Assistants and Sagarmithras to create awareness on FFMA and MSSRF will continue to generate awareness among the local fishers.
Assistant Director of Fisheries, Mr. Ch. Venkateswara Rao, noted that FFMA has several special features especially OSF, GPS and Disaster Alert, etc., which are useful for small craft fishermen, and assured that these features should be promoted during fishermen meetings with Sachivalayam staff.
Mr. Avinash, NETFISH-MPEDA coordinator confirmed that a lot of promotions through Whatsapp groups and during the fishing harbour visits are being done, and added that he takes screen shots about the PFZ and disaster alerts from FFMA to share with wider fishing community networks.
Mrs. P. Kamalakumari, Lecturer cum NSS instructor, Noble Degree College, Machilipatnam, said that they will promote FFMA through their students NSS campaigns, especially in fishing villages because the App is essential for the safety of fishermen.
Mr. Anjaneyulu and Mr. Veeraraghavayya, Fishermen Association leaders said that they will support the scaling-up of FFMA in their association meetings and Society-member meetings, and requested MSSRF to recommend that the Government provide fishing crafts and fishing instruments like GPS, eco-sounder, and other sea-safety equipment at a subsidised cost for fishers.
Mr. N. Srinivasa Rao, Joint Director of Fisheries, Krishna district joined the meeting and discussed about the artificial reefs. He expressed that the Fisheries department extends all support to promote the Fisher Friend Mobile App in Krishna district through their field staff.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.