Govt ropes in ONDC to bring fishermen on e-market platform

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) With the aim of providing fishermen with an e-market platform, the Department of Fisheries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) on February 19.

The officials said that the MoU will be signed in the presence of Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala and Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying L Murugan at Krishi Bhawan in the national capital.

“This essential step will provide a digital platform for fisherfolks, fish farmers producers organisation, entrepreneurs, SHGs, fishermen cooperatives and other relevant stakeholders in the fisheries sector to access wider markets, expanding their reach and potential customer base,” the officials said.

They said that the collaboration between Department of Fisheries and ONDC will facilitate the implementation of technology-driven solutions, improve efficiency, collectivisation and competitiveness of the small scale producers and marketers.

“ONDC is a unique platform of e-marketing and will play a significant role in the fisheries sector to connect maximum FFPOs and other fishermen cooperatives,” they said.

The officials said that by providing a direct channel between producers and consumers, ONDC will support in reducing the reliance on intermediaries, leading to higher profits for fishers and lower prices for consumers.

“This initiative will also provide a scale of economy to the marginal fishermen engaged in scattered business through a common digital platform for their products,” the officials said.

They said that the adoption of digital technical solutions will serve various benefits for fisheries industries like enhanced trust, reduced transaction costs, increased market reach, improved transparency, increased competitiveness, innovation, and employment generation.

“In the long term, the ONDC network will facilitate seamless integration for harnessing the benefits of collectivisation between producers, processors, and distributors within the fisheries sector, enabling efficient supply chain management, value chains and market access,” the officials said.

They said that this collaboration will facilitate capacity building and raise awareness through educational workshops for MSMEs, start-ups, SHGs, small and marginal fishermen, FFPOs, fishers, and market participants in the fisheries sector.

“Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is incorporated as a Section 8 company, an initiative by DPIIT, Ministry of commerce and industry, aiming at promoting open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks,” the officials said.

They said that it has recorded more than 6.3 million transactions in the month of November’23 across 600+ cities. The sellers and service providers are spread across 500+ cities expanding the geographical coverage of the ONDC network.

Presently, over 3000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) have registered to be a part of the ONDC through various network participants. Also, around 400 Self-Help Groups (SHGs), micro-entrepreneurs and social sector enterprises have been onboarded on the network.

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