Stakeholders in the fisheries sector can expect a reduction in the processing time for licensing and registration applications, under the developing fisheries licensing and registration system.
The Government through the Finance Ministry’s Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU), working with the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry, is upgrading the manual processes involved in providing licensing and registration to stakeholders in the fisheries sector.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, said the current process can take fishers months, even after submission of their applications and payment of fees.
“Then they have to collect those licences. We try to improve the process by dispatching the licences to the offices, so that they get it in a matter of [days], but unfortunately, it does take months. What we want to move to is real-time application and to reduce this process that takes months or sometimes, unfortunately, six months to something that can happen within a week,” he said.
Speeding up the distribution of licences is also expected to positively impact the work of stakeholders.
“In terms of efficiency, we’re talking about real life savings on the time of our fishers. When we save them time in doing these mundane activities, they will spend more time investing, reinvesting and going out in relation to their business, and that’s what we want to focus their energy on,” Minister Green explained.
Minister Green was speaking on developments made with the new fisheries licensing and registration system project, in a recent JIS ‘Get the Facts’ interview.
The Agriculture Minister also mentioned that the process of data generation will be made more efficient.
“This means that as Minister, I can call on the National Fisheries Authority and [ask] how many fishers we have in this geographic location. I can log into this web-based portal and get that information in real time. That data management cannot be quantified in terms of the sort of impact it can have on your system and the data sets that will be able to garner now, in terms of geography, indicators of where our fishers are operating, and how we would tie this in to be able to monitor our fishers even when they go out to sea. A lot of real improvement can come from this,” Minister Green said.
He also added that with many stakeholders already connected to smartphones, they will be able to benefit from the system as well.
“All we need now is for us to roll out the system and then provide training. Then you can imagine. Training would be a very integral aspect and we will be going out to the nooks and crannies to train our fishers to use this system,” he explained.