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eGovWatch: E-commerce website, app to help fishermen reach buyers

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The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed a multivendor e-commerce website and mobile app to help fish farmers and fishermen to sell their catch directly to the customers. The website marinefishsales.com and its mobile app named marinefishsales was developed under the National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project of the CMFRI as part of improving income of the coastal community who are struggling hard to stabilise their income due to fishery and climate related issues,CMFRI sources said.

“The e-commerce platform developed by CMFRI will be greatly beneficial to the fishermen and fish farming community to increase their income and to keep away from the exploitation by the middlemen”, said PU Zacharia, principal investigator of the NICRA project.

The portal is an interface of multi-vendors and consumers with CMFRI performing the administrative role between them. Fishermen and fish farmers who want to sell their catch and fish online may form self-help groups (SHGs) and register with the platform. CMFRI will monitor the vendor profiles, order status and sales.
In the first phase, the platform will enable the fish self-help groups in Ernakulam district to sell their products and in the next phase, the service will be extended to the other parts of the country in accordance with the success of the initiative.

Various fishermen self-help groups can register as vendors (fishermen and farmers) based on their products and update their stock availability time to time, which shall be displayed in the website and the app.

“Customers can place their order after choosing the fish, either cleaned or raw, from respective farmers or fishermen groups. At present, payment is available only on cash-on-delivery mode. The profit could be shared directly among the fishermen and farmers groups by not allowing middlemen share their profits,”the sources said. Trial sales were also conducted after the CMFRI provided training to the fish farmers and fishermen to familiarise with e-commerce website and mobile app.

“Quality and fresh fish in reasonable price would be made available for online sale. Fresh farmed fish such as seabass, pearl spot, tilapia, red snapper, cobia cultured in ponds and backwaters, along with various fish caught daily from the sea by fishermen will be available. The facility will boost selling of fresh fishes, both cultured and captured, with higher profits to the fishermen and fish farmers”, Zacharia added.

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