Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development (Matsyafed) recorded working profit in 2009-10 for the first time since its inception 26 years ago, its chairman V.V. Sasheendran has said.

At a press conference here on Friday, he said that, in addition to a working profit of Rs.2.23 crore, Matsyafed achieved a record turnover of Rs.314.21 crore in the year. So far in its history, Matsyafed had deployed Rs.359.99 crore on various development programmes for fishermen.

Of this, a sum of Rs.155.26 crore was spent during the last three years.

Such a giant leap in the deployment of funds during the last three years was possible through the mobilisation of maximum possible financial support from national financial institutions and by tapping resources under various government programmes, he said.

He said the turnover in 2009-10 included a sum of Rs.183 crore achieved through the auctioning of 72,670 tonnes of fish at various fish landing centres and fishing harbours. The auctioning process, which was promoted with the purpose of freeing fishermen from middlemen and money lenders, was getting highly popular. The cooperative movement was gaining in strength, he said.

As many as 13,006 self-help groups (SHGs), representing nearly 1,40,000 fishermen families, were active along the State's coast.

Their total deposits touched Rs.26.35 crore as on March 31, 2010. In addition to this amount, the SHGs accessed a sum of Rs.54.66 crore from Central government agencies and financial institutions for helping fishermen with micro loans.