Increasing demand for the Fisher Friend Mobile Application
July 2016: MSSRF’s ‘Fisher Friendly Mobile Application’, (FFMA) developed in association with QUALCOMM and INCOIS was piloted in 2011 for information on fishing and post fishing activities. Available in English, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu it is being used by fishing communities across India and has been made available for communities from 2013.
In June 2016, MSSRF conducted a pilot exercise to promote FFMA among fishing communities in Chennai. MSSRF aimed to reach out to most-needed among fishing communities who go out to sea towards increasing downloads and usage of the app.
A need assessment was conducted in Kasimedu, Thiruvottiyur and Thalankuppam fishing villages near Chennai. The favourable aspects for a campaign included good contact base and it was proposed to work with community members who had android handsets as this was required for download and use of the app.
Based on the needs assessment, several field visits were made in these villages with one-to-one, one-to group meetings and various queries were addressed, while downloads were facilitated. The promotional exercise culminated in a public meeting in Tiruvottiyur attended by over 50 fishermen from three villages.
As a result of this promotional exercise, the number of screen views of the app increased significantly by over three times from previous months. Fishermen also shared that they had been lucky with a huge tuna catch in June thanks to the app information. Feedback was taken from the community for further versions and modifications of the app, especially with regard to the SOS feature. This exercise is expected to be scaled up in other locations where the application has been made available.
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.