The Kannada version of the Fisher Friend Mobile Application (FFMA), an app that has helped transform lives and livelihoods of fishing communities in five Indian States and one Union Territory, was launched on September 5, 2017 in Karnataka. The app is being rolled out in in partnership with ICAR – CMFRI, in Mangalore and Malpe, for piloting and scaling up among fisher folk in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. MSSRF developed the Pan-Indian FFMA in nine languages in partnership with Qualcomm to cover coastal states of India. FFMA acts as a decision support system and helps fishers undertake informed decisions and thereby reduce risks and increase economic benefit.
More than 150 fishers who participated in the programme were given an overview of the tool and how it could support their livelihood. The pilot launch is an important step to refine the tool, as it gives an opportunity for fisherfolk to experience the app and give constructive feedback for any required modifications. Ten fishermen were identified and a mobile handset was given to each of them for providing periodical feedback, to strengthen the application.
Currently, FFMA is available in the Google Play Store and is being used by fisherfolk in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal and Puducherry.