A Development Network Organization of small scale fishers and farmers
The Small Fishers Federation was set up in 1992 as a development network of small-scale fishers and farmer’s organizations in Sri Lanka. The short name of Small Fishers Federation is Sudeesa, with a Sri Lankan meaning of “Organization with a better vision.” Small scale fishers and farmers who are considered as most socially and economically vulnerable groups, are engaged in fishing in shallow waters of the sea and also inland fishing areas, using very primitive fishing gear as well as doing slash and burn cultivation and working as labours in agricultural land anand dong cultivation in small parcels of land less than 2 acres, without agriculture inputs and water. Their average income is US $ 16 per month and according to the Ministry of Fisheries and also Ministry of Agrarian services 52% of members of small scale fishing and farming communities are living in below the poverty line (Provincial census 2011).
The Federation is an approved charity and nonprofit making, non-governmental organization, incorporated under Governement regulations for the Monitoring of Receipts and Disbursement of Funds by NGOs. As an umbrella organization, the Federation conducts advocacy, economical, social, and educational and Environmental programmes to strengthen and empower the small scale fishing and farming communities in self-reliance. During last three years the Federation membership has been increased rapidly up to 469 member’s organizations.
A 12-member Board of Governors manages the Federation’s activities. They are elected by the general membership for a period of three years at its congress. The Chief Executive of the Federation is the Chairman. Every member organization has its representative at the Federation’s general assembly with equal voting power. The Federation consists of member village organizations at grassroots level, the social and economic resource centres at district level and the Federation’s headquarters at national level.