Institutions play an important role in the economic development of a state. The Mission needs support from two institutions namely, Fish Farmer Development Agency (FFDA) and Meghalaya State Fishery Co-operative Federation and the civil society organizations. The former is the executing agency and the latter is the people’s institution for galvanizing the farmers in marketing of inputs and output.
Fish Farmers’ Development Agency (FFDA)
The Fish Farmers’ Development Agency is an autonomous body created for the implementation of the Mission. The Minister (i/c. Fisheries) is the Chairman of the Agency. It will have a two-tier system of organisational structure, one at the State level and other at the district level. The Director, Fisheries is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the State level.
At the District level, the Superintendent of Fisheries will function as the District Executive Officers (DEO) of the FFDA, who will be responsible for the implementation of the programmes of the Mission. Two levels of contractual employees will assist the DEO in addition to the Fishery Department’s officers viz., the Sub-divisional Fishery Officers, Fishery Demonstrators, etc. The Programme Managers (PM), recruited on a contract basis from B.F.Sc/B.Sc. (Pisciculture) graduates will assist the DEOs in implementing and monitoring the State Aquaculture Mission. The second cadre is the Multiple Service Providers (MSP). They will be selected from candidates with Class XII qualification. They will be used for reaching out to the farmers. They will be imparted the necessary training by the FFDA. There will be six MSPs per district and hence, a total number of 42 MSPs will be recruited in the State during the period of the Mission. Their appointments are purely contractual and co terminus with the Mission.
State Level Members
The State Level Governing Body of the Fish Farmers' Development Agency in the State notified on 8.2.2012 are as follows:
- Chief Minister (in-charge Fisheries) - Chairman
- Minister of Fisheries - Vice Chairman
- Chief Executive Members of the 3 District Councils - Member
- Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya - Member
- Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Meghalaya - Member
- Principal Secretaries/Commissioners and Secretaries of the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture C&RD, Water Resources, Soil & Water Conservation and Cooperation Departments - Member
- Director of Institutional Finance, Meghalaya - Member
- Director, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, NER, Barapani - Member
- General Manager, NABARD, Shillong Region - Member
- 1(one) Representative of each District Level, Fish farmer Development Agency - Member
- Deputy General Manager & SLBC Coordinator, State Bank of India - Member
- Nominees of the Government of India, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture - Member
- Director of Fisheries-cum-Chief Executive Officer, F.F.D.A., Member Secretary - Member
- Nominees from Development Boards, Research and Development Institutions dealing in Fisheries, as notified from time to time by the Department of Fisheries - Member
- Fish Farmers organizations, as notified from time to time by the Department of Fisheries - Member
- Representative of the Fish Farmer organizations, Individual Fish Farmers and members of the Fisheries Coop Societies (9 members) to be nominated by the Department of Fisheries, subject to a maximum of 9 members. - Member
District Level Members
The District Aquaculture Mission Committees in all the Districts of the State comprises of the following members:
- Deputy Commissioner - Chairman
- Project Director, DRDA - Member
- District Agriculture Officer - Member
- Superintendent Engineer/Executive Engineer, Water Resources Department - Member
- Divisional Soil & Water Conservation Officer - Member
- Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies nominated by the Deputy Commissioner - Member
- 2(two) Branch Manager of Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank of the District, nominated by Deputy Commisioner - Member
- MRDS representative - Member
- NERCOMP representative - Member
- 2(two) members from Civil Society/NGOs to be nominated by the Government of Meghalaya - Member
- 2(two) members from Fish Farmers associations co-operatives to be nominated by the Government of Meghalaya - Member
- 3(three) representatives from the public to be nominated by the Government of Meghalaya - Member
- Superintendent of Fisheries & District Executive Officer, FFDA - Member Secretary
Functions of the officials of the FFDA:
- The CEO, FFDA will convene all meetings of the Agency in consultation with the Chairman (FFDA) and Commissioner & Secretary/Principal Secretary (Fisheries).
- Implement, supervise and monitor the Aquaculture Mission in the state as per the Mission document.
- Comply with the directions and advice as may be given by the Governing body and Executive Committee of the FFDA from time to time.
- These roles will be in addition to the duties entrusted to the CEO of the FFDA, in the normal course of his duties.
b) District Executive Officers (Superintendents of Fisheries) & Sub-divisional Executive Officers (Fishery Officers):
- In addition to their normal duties of functioning within the budgets provided to them under the SPA, State Plan, etc. the DEOs of the FFDA and the Sub-divisional E.Os. are directly responsible for the implementation of the Aquaculture Mission in letter and spirit. They are the kingpins in the implementation of the Mission’s mandate scrupulously and diligently.
- From the stage of the Mobilization till the completion of the projects, the role to be played by the DEOs and Sub-divisional EOs will be that of enrolment, liaising with the MCAB for credit transfers, execution, supervision, and record keeping as well as financial transfers, as per the legal and financial frameworks that are already in vogue, or to be prescribed, as the case may be from time to time.
- They are fully responsible for organizing the prompt MIS data transfer as also the subsequent facilitation of the field monitoring and evaluation by the internal and external teams, as the case may be.
c) Programme Managers:
- Will help in the finalization of the preparatory phase comprising of formulation of draft project proposals, data collection, holding of seminars/workshops/meetings, interaction with experts, compiling of information, etc.
- Will assist in the identification and documentation of the existing large water bodies in the state.
- Will assist in the identification the potential rivers, streams, for creation of multi-species sanctuaries, sport fisheries, etc.
- Will impart technical training to all the beneficiaries assisted under the “Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission”.
- Will monitor the implementation of the Mission.
- Will assist the FFDA in the data management and other official works.
- Will document the processes from inception to completion and assist in the MIS.
- Will monitor construction, pre-stocking, post stocking management of the pond.
- Will assess the growth and health of fish on a regular basis.
- Will observe harvesting and assess production, marketing and help in post harvest management.
- Any other duties as may be assigned to them from time to time.
d) Multiple Service Providers (MSPs):
- They will be utilised in providing various door-step delivery services to the farmers, so as to ensure timely access to seed, feed and management services.
- They will visit all the fish ponds under their jurisdiction, study the water conditions and assist the farmers to tackle any unstable conditions of the water there and then.
- They will also assist the farmers in trial netting, harvesting, marketing of fish, etc.
Meghalaya State Fishery Co-operative Federation
The major focus of the mission is on the poor who cannot procure the necessary inputs and sell the output on their own. If the farmers get together and form a society, they can conduct the business enterprise more efficiently. Many of the interventions of the Mission can be implemented through the co-operatives. The activities that can be entrusted to the co-operatives are: (a) Creation of co-operative fish ponds (b) supply of portable FRP hatcheries (c) management of fish feed mills (d) marketing processing of fish (e) capacity building of the farmers.
There are a large number of fishery co-operatives which are in a dormant stage due to lack of activities. Since the Mission is introducing area expansion on a large scale along with infrastructure development, technology induction and capacity building of the fish farmers, some of these activities can be entrusted to the co-operative sector and it becomes viable and vibrant. In order to strengthen the cooperatives the functional support will be provided, not the general purpose support. Societies with negative network (cumulative lossess exceeding its own fund) will not be eligible for such assistance. For availing assistance for pond construction, the society must have a minimum lease period of ten years. For cooperatives with good track record assistance would provided for (a) creation of cooperative fish ponds (b) supply of portable FRP hatcheries(c) fish processing (d) technology induction (e) capacity building.