Kanyakumari District Fishermen Sangams Federation (KDFSF)

KDFSF is a fishermen organization established in 1983 solely for the welfare of fisher folk of the coastal belt of Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea of the District. It is an apex organization of village level fish marketing societies in the district. Village level fish marketing societies were formed to eliminate the domination and exploitation of fish merchants and agents. Rev, Fr. James Tomber was the instrumental in organizing fishers societies for the welfare of fisher community in the district.

In 1984, KDFSF is registered under Societies Registration Act 1975.In the district, KDFSF has made a tremendous base in the district and able to form 57 societies which spread over 46 coastal villages and the membership including the families 11000. Empowering fisher women is another area of interest of KDFSF and Joint Liability Groups have formed since 2010. As on now there are 746 JLGs with 3726 members. It is important to note that 212 JLGs with 1014 members were formed by KDFSF with the support of IFAD-PTSLP – Government of Tamil Nadu.KDFSF actively collaborating with the Tamil Nadu Government under the IFAD-PTSLP project, NABARD, The Marine Product and Export Development Authority of India (MPEDA), The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) & FIMSUL. We bank with Canara Bank, College Road, Nagercoil.

KDFSF Board members are 9 and they meet monthly once. They have 11 office staff and 9 field staff. The day today activities are managing by the Chief Executive.

The following table describes the activities at the two different levels

Village societies KDFSF
1. Fishermen’s control over first point of sale of fish of members (beach auctions and sale to wholesalers, agents and export houses)
2. Savings to help members during lean season and emergencies
3. Loans to help fishermen acquire fishing equipment and maintain independence from middlemen
Member services
1. Supervision and monitoring of village societies
2. Helping village society with credit access from banks and other sources
3. Marketing support (direct assistance or just liaison with markets and companies)
4. Supply of inputs like nets, fuel, etc., at lower/competitive prices based on economies of scale
5. Welfare activities for members

Broader sectoral interventions
1. Organising women JLG groups
2. Some forays into education, environmental action, etc.