Kochi

Matsyafed all set to strengthen market intervention

The Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development (Matsyafed), the apex cooperative in the fishing sector, has proposed increasing the capacity for frozen fish storage at its Kochi facility as well as utilising its full capacity and establishing similar facilities at at two other centres with a view to help fishers store their catch so as to help them negotiate better prices in the midst of allegations that the fishing community is exploited by buyers and their agents.

Matsyafed has put up a proposal for renovation of the Kochi fish freezing facility and the government is likely to consider the proposals. The State government, which has been supportive of the inland and marine fisheries sectors, has provided generous support to the fishing community, said T. Manoharan, chairman of Matsyafed. He said that only about 30% to 35% of the Kochi facility was being utilised now. The capacity utilisation can be improved and operations carried out in three shifts to enable better storage.

One of the problems facing the fishing community is that once the catch is landed, they are at the mercy of the buyers, who basically fix a price for the catch. However, if the fishers are able to store their catch they will be in a position to bargain for a better deal. Matsyafed is aiming at creating such a facility across the State, said Mr. Manoharan. He said that the State government has been considerate and positive about the proposals.

Matsyafed sources said that the Kochi facility was last renovated in 1997 and the plant may further be renovated to increase its storage capacity from the present 25 tonnes per day to about 60 tonnes. However, fish catch is seasonal and that is one of the reasons why the capacity utilisation is low at present. The plant can then be operated in thee shifts to cater to the new requirements and as per the plans of the cooperative. Mr. Manoharan also said that Matsyafed looked towards increasing the capacity at its three net-making facilities in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kannur so as to meet the requirements of the fishing community. Matsyafed, which has ensured quality fishing nets at affordable rate is, at present, unable to meet the entire requirement of the State. New machines are being installed in Kochi and Kannur to enhance capacity, the chairman said.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:55:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/matsyafed-all-set-to-strengthen-market-intervention/article36463909.ece

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