Effect of Adoption of Standard Management Practices on Field of Rural Fish Farmers; A Case Study of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State
Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the effect of Adoption of Standard Management Practices on field of Rural Fish Farmers in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The specific objectives of the study was to:
- Investigate the basic Standard Management Practices in fishery and how practices are being conducted in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State?
- Identify the major challenges hindering the productivity of fish farming in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State
- Investigate the effect of the application of standard management practices in fish farming.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Standard Management Practices
Definition and Concept of Standard Management Practices
Standard management practices in Agriculture can be broadly defined as an agricultural system involving a combination of sustainable production practices in conjunction with the discontinuation or the reduced use of production practices that are potentially harmful to the environment (De Souza et aI.1993; FAO 2008; Kassie et al. 2009). The Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) argues that sustainable agriculture consists of five major attributes: it conserves resources (e.g. land, water, etc), and it is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, and economically and socially acceptable (FAO. 2008).
Sustainable farming means farming using sustainable methods based on your understanding of the ecosystem. The primary goal of this type of farming is to meet our textile and food needs without compromising the capability of the future generation to provide for their needs. A sustainable agriculture focuses on promoting the economy through increased productivity while protecting the environment. It must deal fairly with all the workers while fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between neighbors. (Vidogbéna, et al. 2016).
Different Sustainable Agriculture Practices
- Rotating Crops Monoculture, a widespread practice in many developing countries, is the primary cause of increased super-weeds and poor soil which results in decreased productivity. Planting different varieties of crops can be quite beneficial to your farm. Rotating crops helps improved pest and weed control, and healthier soil. Some of the crop diversity practices you can adopt include complex multi-year crops rotation and inter-cropping (planting different types of crops on the same farm).
- Embracing Diversity Although planting numerous plant species is a great sustainable farming method, it is not an option for commercial farmers with a market for specific crops. Therefore instead of substituting their main crop, a farmer can plant diverse varieties of the same Farming different varieties make your crop stronger since they are genetically distinct. Crop diversity protects the crops from pests and diseases which favor a specific crop variety.
- Planting Cover Crops Planting cover crops like hairy vetch or clovers during the off-season times when the farm is left bare can be beneficial. Cover crops build and protect the health of the soil by replenishing the soil nutrients, preventing soil erosion and also hindering the growth of weeds which reduces the need for herbicides in future.
- Eliminating or Reducing Tillage Although traditional plowing methods prevent weed problems and also help prepare the farm for planting, plowing causes soil loss. Therefore, instead of plowing your farm before planting, you can use reduced till or no-till farming methods. By inserting all the seeds directly into the unplowed farm you can improve the quality of the soil while preventing soil erosion.
- Appling Integrated Pest Management Methods Although pesticides help with pest management and improve crop production, over-usage of a specific pesticide results in a pest- resistant breed of Therefore, you can employ the use of numerous biological and mechanical pest control methods while reducing the use of pesticides. Different plants attract a wide variety of pests and birds among other creatures; some of these small animals can predate on the ones destroying crops. A farmer can release a group of numerous beneficial insects like lacewings and ladybugs into the farm to help control pests. Planting trees around the farm will attract birds who will nest there and even feed on the insects thus controlling the population of insects.
- Integrating Crops and Livestock Industrial agriculture keeps animal and plant production separated with the livestock grazing away from the farm and the crops away from manure. Although keeping the animals away from the crops can protect the crops from being consumed by the animals, evidence shows that smart integrating of livestock and crops production can be a perfect recipe for a more efficient and profitable farm. Managed grazing can also be a great way of crop rotation. Instead of alternating crops, you can allow your livestock to graze on different pastures on your farm so that the animals can consume different plants. Managed grazing will provide your cattle with a wide range of nutrients. Moving the livestock is also perfect for the soil since the excessive foot fall will help compact the soil thus preventing soil erosion while the manure left behind will help fertilize the farm.
- Adopting Agro-forestry Practices Addition of shrubs of trees in the farm can help provide shelter and shade to the plants, water resource, and animals. Trees and shrubs can help prevent soil erosion while potentially giving the farmer an additional income. Planting trees around your water source can help prevent loss of water through evaporation during the dry
- Managing Entire Landscapes and Systems Sustainable farming treats the less intensively cultivated and the uncultivated area as part of the The role played by the uncultivated areas, in reducing nutrient runoff, controlling soil erosion and supporting the pollinators among other diversity is valued. Therefore, make sure you tend to this area as you would tend to your farm. (Lydia Wafula, Judith Oduol.. et al,2016)
Research Design and Approach
According to Johnson BR, Onwuegbuzie AJ, Turner LA. (2007, p. 123) mixed methods research is the type of research in which a researcher or team of researchers combines elements of qualitative and quantitative research approaches (e. g., use of qualitative and quantitative viewpoints, data collection, analysis, inference techniques) for the broad purposes of breadth and depth of understanding and corroboration. This study employed a Convergent Parallel Mixed Methods Design. According to (Creswell & Poth, 2017) the convergent mixed methods approach is probably the most familiar of the basic and advanced mixed methods strategies. In this approach, a researcher collects both quantitative and qualitative data, analyzes them separately, and then compares the results to see if the findings confirm or disconfirm each other. The key assumption of this approach is that both qualitative and quantitative data provide different types of information.
The identified research questions and objectives of this study was explicitly answered by combining qualitative and quantitative research components, which further helped to expand and strengthen the validity of the research result and the study’s conclusions. This was achieved through triangulation through the usage of convergence of results from different methods.
Population, Sample Size and Sampling Technique
Population and Sample Size
To describe what factors influencing fish farming in Nigeria, data was collected from the totality of the target groups. The target population for this study was composed from the management & farmers of Andoni LGA aquaculture government which was made up the totality of population for the purpose of conducting this study. The population for this study was 40 and all of them were included as targeted groups.
RESULT AND INTERPRETATION
A total of 34 (Male=27, Female=7) persons were participated in the study. The response rate was 85% from a population size of 40.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary of Findings
In this section the summary, conclusions and recommendation were derived from the research findings. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of Adoption of Standard Management Practices on field of Rural Fish Farmers in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. Before going to present the main analysis of the study, a reliability test was administered to check the reliability of data collection instrument. In this regard, all parts of the questionnaires were reliable and acceptable with Cronbach’s Alpha result greater than 0.70. In relation to the demographic characteristics of the respondents, it could be inferred that the composition of younger staff and senior management experts from ASA have an adequate experiences and have good intellectual level in their assigned position to practice fish farming in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State for which the farmers could work in a professional manner to contribute for enhanced fish productivity,
Farming Practice in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
It was found that practice like stocking the pond, feeding the fish and for chill holding are use and applied based on the recommendation of the Aquaculture Development program in line with the European standards. ASA have also implemented the basic infrastructure for fish farming. Particularly they have installed water inlet and outlet devices in the pond which is very essential for the growth of healthy fish farming. From their finding Russell & Dobson, (2009) found that inability to manipulate appropriate pond environment will challenge the fish farming practice negatively. Therefore it can be inferred thin Andoni Local Government Area has good fish production practice, which can lead to sustain in the market.
It has been noted in this study that inadequate inputs are the challenges that affect fish farming in Andoni Local Government Area. The result figured out that the provision of extension services/training is found on unsatisfactory level. Such kinds of deficiency in extension service is also reported by (FAO, 2010) as it is explained that even if aquaculture extension services have played an important role in the development of aquaculture; more is expected in the future.
In overall, the result from input perspective reflects that there is inadequate outreach program and inefficiency in dissemination of technology transfer from government extension workers, which may play a key role challenging the performance of Andoni LGA. The other indicated factor that affected extension services on fish farming was the inadequate resources in terms of inputs such as operational funds and transport for the extension workers to effectively perform their extension roles.
The analysis found evidence that there is no strong competitive market for supplying the required inputs for fish farming and even the existing few supplier of these inputs are not able to continually supply as required. The inadequacy of reliable fish markets can create shortage of necessary market inputs such as fingerings, feed and fertilizer and manure for practicing fish farming in a proper way.
It can be also be summarized that the use of specification supplied by the Aqua Culture Development Program, like stocking the pond, feeding the fish and for chill holding could help the LGA to broaden and deepen the aquaculture value chains to increase the volume and value of fish and fish products produced and sold.
Result indicates that in Andoni LGA do not face a serious fish disease problem in their practice of fish production. This showed that pathogens which can cause fish diseases such as bacterial infections and fungal infections are not common in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State aqua culture.
Challenge in Fish Farming Practice in Andoni Local Government Area
It was found that the fish varieties in Andoni Local Government Area is limited and currently, the varieties that is cultivated in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State are tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus), this observed constraints seems similar with the constraints to aquaculture development in Kenya, which was lack of quality fish seed as stated by Mary et.al, (2017).
Result indicates that 26(83.9%) of the respondents have disclosed that getting different fish varieties for farming practice is a difficult task. Shortage of necessary market inputs for practicing fish farming in a proper way is one of the pressing challenge thin Andoni Local Government Area is facing. One of this challenge is lack of cheap and efficient locally available fish feeds, lack of locally selected and certified fish seeds. Similarly absence of licensed fish seed reproduction centers and lack of institutional capacity in the area of training and development, research and technology transfer also challenging conditions for aquaculture improvement in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. This finding is in line with the findings of Andoni LGA (2012) how found that aquaculture activities in Nigeria have been limited to introduction of both exotic and indigenous freshwater fish to several man-made and natural water bodies. Inadequate financial resources were also the major reason for lack of adequate inputs in Andoni Local Government Area.
The findings also exhibited that the provision of extension services/training is not satisfactory. This might indicate that they were not well informed of the project requirements, which could mean they did not get the basic skill and training for practicing the farming which could in turn affect sustainability in fish production in Andoni Local Government Area. This might indicates that skills and training on: feeding, harvesting, green house, floating feeds, cage system, grading, slaughtering, fingerlings introduction, cooking, marketing, choice of fingerlings, pond fertilization, breeding control, types of feeds and water management is not adequate as required..
Introduction of fish farming technology is possible area of challenge in fish farming practice even if there is a good stand interms of utilization of new tools and techniques for fishing practice in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. This is more positive findings compared to the study conducted by Olatunji and Ogunremi (2016) who was found that awareness of fish farming technologies by fish farmers they found out that lack of awareness, lack of knowledge of effects of recommended technology in Kenya farming practice. Generally this findings indicates thin Andoni Local Government Area are fairly challenged that much from technological perspectives as indicated in the result.
This study indicates that for adopting fish technology as well as to for producing fish the LGA incurring unreasonable cost, which has its own impact on the sustainability of the business. These findings are in line with what is suggested by Shitote et al., (2006) who stressed that cost is one of the major constraint that affecting fish farming. Similarly Gakuu (2018), has also sought that how cost of inputs, provision of extension service, accessibility to market and use of technology influence the sustainability of small scale fish farmers. Generally, this indicates that cost is one of the challenge that overwhelming the LGA for survival and to keep it sustainability in the future.
Selling fish is not an attractive business in the surrounding area this is because the profit margin obtained from fish product is not lucrative like other profitable business. This market inefficiency is also existed in Kenya as explained by KEPSA (2013) report on the Kenya National Business Agenda II 2013-2018, which stated that while Kenya’s agriculture is better developed than that of most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the domestic fish market is poorly organized to take advantage of the regional market.
Therefore, not achieving an extensive market in the surrounding area of Andoni LGA and to other cities of the country, profit generation is getting difficult. It can be generalized that this findings indicate that market is a challenging issue for ASA fishing product.
It was observed that adequately project risk identification, measuring the risk impact and probability, and planning mitigation measure is practiced to avoid the negative consequence on fish production. This helps the fish framing practice to sustain the business and reduce cost that may arise from the anticipated risk and danger.
The finding showed that there is an effective project management practice in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, which can be explained interms of their project risk analysis, resource management, project procurement plan and data management system. cost management, communication between the management of Andoni LGA and the stakeholders. These would assist to achieve a satisfactory level distribution of produced fish to the market in on time manner.
Like most of West African countries, Nigeria is riddled with poverty, economic stagnation and environmentally unsustainable practices, all of which pose serious constraints on fisheries development such as obtaining knowledge on pond design and construction, hatchery equipment and other farm inputs such as aerators, cages and hatching incubators.
These findings are self-assertive to conclude that the accessibility of readily available market, financial availability and consistency for project work, access to training, and costs of input for fish farming do affect the sustainability of the project and even challenging the project to meet its profit thresh hold. This conclusion is supported by Wetengere, (2010),
who found that marketing of fish is hampered by several factors including lack of proper market infrastructure especially for fresh fish which are highly perishable.
It can be concluded that there is smaller availability of land sizes, lack of reliable infrastructure (electricity for greenhouses), lack of extension service provision from government institutions are the major challenges in fish farming practice in Andoni Local Government Area in comparison to other agricultural enterprises
The result now provides evidence to show that the challenges facing ASA affecting its sustainability includes viable supply of fish meal and fish oil ingredients for fish feed, adequate land size for pond construction. The result demonstrated that constraints such as lack of access to quality and affordable feed, seed, inadequate and inappropriate technical advice/information, and use of inappropriate production systems, information along with access to optimal markets have greatly impacted the sustainability of the fish farming in Andoni Local Government Area.
Lack of good infrastructure leads to poor domestic markets with little or no room for special or temporal integration, low prices and weak international competitiveness. In in Andoni LGA fish production area there is poor road condition, high transport cost and market distance were identified as factors that hinder improved market access for aquaculture farmers which has also contributed to failing input market.
Recommendation to Andoni LGA
This study recommends thin Andoni Local Government Area need to adopt an innovative technologies, which can make use of semi intensive farming, greenhouse, predator traps/nylon strings, feed formulation, poly culture (mixed species), growing of worms and algae and improvised bio filtration. Furthermore, ASA needs to adopt strategies so as to improve fish farming sustainability through the use of aquaponics, improving extension services and train on feed formulation through developing an on-farm feeding strategies and practices to cope up with the continually increasing fish feed prices and to reduce the effects and dependence on imported feedstuffs.
It is recommended thin Andoni Local Government Area need to provide the required infrastructure for its commercial aquaculture production to minimize the challenges of quality seed and feed, technical guidance and marketing, which helps itself for increasing productivity and profitability. There is a need to create a multi sectorial approach which can coordinate and harmonize different stakeholder so as to transform the rate of aquaculture development in Nigeria, this has to be performed in a collaborative efforts from all different stakeholders including ASA. Therefore a major future task is to increase engagement and involvement of manufacturers and relevant public authorities in the provision and administration of aquatic resources and land uses.
To develop a sustainable aquaculture strategy ASA need to recognize it earns a fair reward from farming through implementing appropriate technology that minimize cost of production, strict follow up on project activities and work hand in hand with the local government for their extension services in fish farming. Moreover, to make aquaculture more effective and efficient, implementing development of hatchery and cheap fish feed can play an important role to solve the shortage of fingerling at a time of demand and to intensifying aquaculture in Andoni Local Government Area.
Recommendation to Policy Makers
It is recommended that the local government of Amhara Regional state need to recognize the constraints hindering aquaculture growth and need to exert their support and promote the enterprise, which could play an important role in poverty reduction and economic growth through the provision of high-protein food, reduction of fishing pressure in natural, creating jobs and generating income. Moreover, the Amhara regional Government need to be more involved in lowering the costs of input in fish farming and also play a key role in ensuring thin Andoni Local Government Area get quality inputs so as to have better harvest and thus sustain the projects. Apart from this, adequate extension officers need to be availed so as to disseminate information on the new technologies. Government should ensure that the cost of acquiring these technologies is affordable to the farming government’s like ASA.
It is recommended that the local as well as the federal government need to make regional collaboration and integration in shared fisheries and aquaculture resources management. Also the need to take the roles and responsibilities to provide appropriate guidance on how to implement reforms for fisheries and aquaculture development, facilitate approval and /or adoption of appropriate provisions in international fisheries management instruments, as well as facilitate advocacy for increased investment in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
Government policy makers are advised to formulate policy that encourage extension services so that new techniques and application would be adopted for fish farming sector. There is also a need for government to consider in its policy to promote and subsidized some of the commercial inputs and encourage the establishment of producers’ union that will assist the private farmers to purchase inputs in a sustainable manner and improved marketing
distribution channels. Other areas of concern are the government need to create education on the establishment of fish farms with conducive environment and with technical support facilities. (FAO, 2010) also asserted that the Nigerian government has identified aquaculture as one of the strategic areas of intervention to address the problem of food insecurity and poverty in the rural areas. It is considered as an important economic activity that supports diversification, integration and improvement in rural livelihoods.
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