Fisheries sector is an important sector in Bangladesh economy considering nutrition value and source. The geographical location and natural opportunities of the country have opened the door of potentialities for fisheries. Profit creation is comparatively easy and positive in this sector. But capital and technological backwardness are main reasons of infirmity in this sector. For the development of fisheries sector, SSS has been implementing a number of distinctive programs and projects since 1998.
Goal and Policy
The main concept of the fisheries extension program is to engage assets-capacities-potentialities of fisheries sector in a planned way and ultimately develop socio-economic condition of the target people. SSS has been implementing entrepreneur creation, existing initiatives extension and development-centered activities in this sector. Characteristics and policies of fisheries extension program are as follows:
- Investigating opportunities and potentialities of the fisheries sector and providing financial support for the proper use of resources and capabilities;
- Increasing fish production by the extension of up-to-date technology and methods;
- Ensuring the availability and expansion of pure nutrition and ultimately alleviate malnutrition from the society;
- Reducing unemployment by creating self and wage-based employment through fish cultivation; and
- Empowering the deprived and trailing people by strengthening their financial and physical base.
SSS has been including the target people in diversified income generating activities by providing them with financial services and nursing for their livelihood development. Fisheries program is one of them. SSS has implemented the following activities during 2016-17:
Fisheries Credit Activities: The fish farmers are included in the credit activities in light of the environment and potentialities of fish cultivation in the working area. The target people are encouraged through trainings, technology-transfer and different inspirational activities. In this way, new entrepreneurs are created in this sector. Under the program, the group members get special financial services. SSS has been implementing and facilitating fisheries credit activities under Jagaran and Agrasar credit programs.
Fish-entrepreneur Extension Activities: The contribution of entrepreneurs is unavoidable in the development of the country and the nation. Under the fisheries extension program, SSS has been providing small and medium fish farmers with financial services and training and ultimately increasing their capacities. At a level, they become entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the existing fish-entrepreneurs get overall support for sustaining themselves in the fish market. They extend their businesses with the given opportunities and potentialities.
Training and Technology-transfer Activities: The fisheries extension program implements training and technology-transfer activities with a view to creating new fish farmers and developing the skills and capacities of the existing ones. The fisheries officer arranges necessary workshops and training courses for the target people. On the other hand, the group members are made deeply aware of the importance of new and improved technologies, their application method and sources.
Support in Fisheries-related Programs and Projects: Some of the programs and projects of SSS do not come directly under fisheries program but they contain fisheries activities limitedly. The fisheries program provides overall support in the implementation of those programs and projects. They are: ENRICH program, Nation-building through Eradicating Malnutrition (NEM) program, Climate Change project etc.
Analysis of Result and Achievements
The fisheries extension program of SSS has both directly and indirectly been accelerating the development of the target people with its implemented activities. The target people have ensured the proper use of their resources and capabilities and are ultimately heading towards enrichment. During 2016-17, SSS has disbursed credit of Tk. 77.14 crore. among 20,755 group members in the fisheries sector. Among them, 9,135 group members received Tk. 6.65 crore as general fisheries credit and 11,629 group members got Tk. 70.48 crore as fish-entrepreneur credit. 250 people received training under the program. The credit recovery rate is 99.50 per cent. Figure-6.1 presents credit disbursement, number of borrowers and growth of fisheries sector during 2016-17.