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Fish marketing in Kanyakumari. Report on work undertaken in India in collaboration with the Kanyakumari District Fisherman's Sangams Federation

Fish marketing in Kanyakumari. Report on work undertaken in India in collaboration with the Kanyakumari District Fisherman's Sangams Federation


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Gordon, Ann (1990) Fish marketing in Kanyakumari. Report on work undertaken in India in collaboration with the Kanyakumari District Fisherman's Sangams Federation. Technical Report. Natural Resources Institue, Chatham, UK.

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The Kanyakumari District Fishermen's Sangams Federation (KDFSF), an organisation of village level co-operative societies, approached the ODA Post-Harvest Project of the Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP) for assistance with fish marketing. Already selling export fish direct to processing companies, and organising auctions at fish landings, the organisation was looking for new ways to improve the incomes of its membership. An NRI economist was asked to work with the KDFSF during a five week period. She was asked to identify existing market systems (and associated consumer requirements) and to comment on the economic and logistical feasibility of a greater marketing role for the KDFSF. Five market systems were identified: export marketing; high value table fish (perch, snapper, seer, pomfret) sent by well-organised merchants to major urban markets; opportunistic marketing by small-scale local merchants with transport, and the flexibility to take advantage of localised (in Kanyakumari and Kerala) fluctuations in market conditions; marketing in the immediate hinterland by cycle vendors and women; and marketing of traditionally processed fish. Within Kerala and Kanyakumari, tuna is eaten widely, along with anchovy and sardines. Most of the dried fish is anchovy and ribbonfish, supplying distant markets in India. Although there is a widely held belief by fishermen that most money can be made by sending fresh fish to major urban markets, it was concluded that the financing and managerial requirements of such an operation would be beyond the capability of the organisation at the moment. Local marketing would not appear to offer significant prospects for financial gain: existing women and cycle vendors operate on very low margins. (Nor would it be desirable to displace this low income group). The marketing of processed fish appears to offer scope for improvements in product quality, and marketing in major wholesale markets. Moreover, the inherent risk in this would be less because of the longer shelf life of the product. Recommendations are therefore made in respect of marketing expertise, processed products, and iced fish. KDFSF should employ a marketing officer to oversee marketing activities. Production and marketing trials are recommended on new anchovy products, with the assistance of BOBP and the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology. Higher prices for processed fish could probably be secured if markets are researched before sale, and fish sold at wholesale markets rather than to visiting merchants in the fishing villages. Prospects for replicability with other fishing groups are particulary interesting if these initiatives are successful.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: fish, marketing, Kanyakumari, India, fishermen, post-harvest, income, market system, economy, development, value chain analysis
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 14:03
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None

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