EFFECT OF ADOPTION OF STANDARD MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON FIELD OF RURAL FISH FARMERS
1.1. 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
2.1.1. Standard Management Practices
126.96.36.199 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).
188.8.131.52 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)
2.1 Theoretical Literature Review
2.1.1. Theory of Production
According to a study by Cobb and Douglas (1928) the theory of production attempts to explain the effect of cost of inputs on sustainability of small-scale fish farmers. Theory of production answers the question “how to produce” which further discusses the supply side of the product prices which depends on cost of production. Cost of production depends on the physical relationships between inputs and outputs as well as prices of inputs. This implies that the amount of production in fish farmers depends on the cost of input (Kagiri, 2016).
Some of these inputs include the invested capital to a fish farmers and the day-to-day running cost of the project meaning that the lower the cost of inputs, the lower the cost of production hence high level of production. This therefore, means that fish farmers are making profits and hence sustainable in the long run. Hence, the cost of inputs is vital in the sustainability of fish farmers. This theory therefore is important to this study since it highlights the influence of cost in puts in the sustainability of fish business enterprise.
2.1.2. Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory
Adoption of new technologies process studied for the past few decades with Rogers’s book Diffusion of innovation being the most popular (Rogers, 1995).This theory is appropriate for the study for investigating the adoption of innovation in fish farming. An innovation is any idea, practice or any object seen as new Rogers, (1995) by farmers while diffusion is the stages or processes of communicating these innovations using different channels over a certain period of time. DOI looks at the how, why and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures (Oliveria and Martins, 2011).
According to Rogers, (1995) DOI theory stresses on importance of communication and stakeholder net working with in the adoption process. Rogers distinguished adopters of innovation in five categories namely; innovator; the technology enthusiasts; early adopter; the visionaries, role models of the technology; early majority; the pragmatists, opinion leaders; late majority; the conservatives who were technology shy and required bullet proof solutions and laggards; the Skeptical ways maintain their status quo. This theory is a good example of how fish farmers adopt technology.
Some farmers have managed to increase the level of adoption in fish farming by changing perception from subsistence to commercial and sustainable farming practices (Roseline 2007) by incorporating simple improved fish production technologies. This theory proposed five stages of adoption process: awareness stage; where the farmers is exposed to innovation/new technology but does not have adequate information; interest stage; the farmers gains interests in the new idea and look for more information; decision/evaluation stage; the farmer decides to either try or not ; trial stage; where the farmer implements the new idea on trial bases and adoption stage; on this stage the farmer decides to fully utilize the innovation/technology (Spring 2011). DOI theory is important for small scale fish farmers as it benefits the targets of change by ensuring involvement to fall stakeholders with strong strategies for implementing innovative change.
Aquaculture (fish Farming) is the cultivation of aquatic animal & plants specially fish, shellfish and seaweed in natural as well as controlled marine or fresh water environments; underwater agriculture. Fish Farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds, usually for food. It is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under Mari culture. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing, or to supplement the species’ natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery. Worldwide, the most important fish species produced in fish farming are carp, tilapia, salmon, and catfish (Jonathan, 2014).
2.1.3. Sustainability of Small Scale Fish Farmers
Sustainability is without doubt one of the most important challenges in today’s time and immediate future. This is because most donors funded projects die as soon as the donor pulls out. According to Wetenegere, (2010) sustainability as a concept of development is one that meets the need of the present without compromising on the future generation to meet their needs. Sustainability is very crucial and must be addressed as a requirement in any projects during its planning and design stages. Azimi & S.L, (2012). Sustainability involves balancing or harmonizing social, environmental, and economic interests considering the full life cycle of any project. Economic sustainability has been defined as effectively and efficiently using available resources to ensure that the business continues return profit over several years. According to Christian, (2016) there are many ways to look at economic sustainability nevertheless: In his article “sustainable aquaculture” there are three main economical areas that fish farming can be of help. The areas include growth, trade as well as standards of living. However his article does not elaborate as to how aquaculture has done this or would do this. Further, it also does not comment on whether fish farming has offered any benefits and who the benefits have gone to. Lastly, looking into the future the article does not comment on who this benefit will go to. According to Bernard, H.R., Wutich, A. and Ryan, G.W., (2016) the final product quality and the individual task times are the major components of sustainability.
Fish production and consumption are characterized by very significant regional disparities. In South West Asia, while many countries have significant SSF, aquaculture is becoming increasingly important. By contrast, production in Africa from both SSF and aquaculture is relatively low, with the notable exceptions of Egypt and, to a lesser degree, Nigeria. Over the past decade, per capita fish consumption has increased in most developing countries in West and Southwest Asia, whereas in India and in most of Africa it has remained low (Rogers, 1995).
2.1.4. Cost of Inputs and Sustainability of Small Scale Fish Farming
One of the biggest constraints to aquaculture development in Kenya has been lack of quality fish seed (Mary Opiyo, H.C k 2017). According to NARDTC (2014) seed production plays a key role in fish farming and it’s important for fish farmers to use good quality seed. Quality seed guarantees fast growth, high yields and good survival rate. Prior years, provision and distribution of fingerlings depended on government; this did not help the farmers as expected due to poor infrastructure and low production level. However the government initiated two national fish selective breeding programs for Nile tilapia and African Catfish at the National Aquaculture Research Development and Training Center together with Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Sagana in collaboration with other development partners, to develop national breeding nuclei with multiplication centers and hatcheries to distribute quality brood stock to hatcheries have tried to increase fish production in fish farming by promoting fish seed production through genetic improvement and hormonal manipulation to produce appropriate fish seed/fingerling (mono sex) that is resilience to the Kenya climatic conditions. Production of mono sex tilapia fingerlings should ensure that a minimum of 95 per cent are male (NARDTC G. a., 2014). Despite all efforts to promote production of quality fingerlings some farmers still feel that the cost of mono sex fish seed is still very high & lack that knowledge of where to get this quality fingerlings and end up buying mixed sex that does not give them maximum output.
2.1.5. Provision of Extension Services to Fish Farming
Providing extension services to rural communities to improve their fish farming skills and capacity to increase their farming efficiency is very important in any project. by providing this services to the farmers it provides them with information on production, value addition, access to finance, marketing etc. Therefore provision of extension services plays an important role in the development of aquaculture (Chrstian, 2016). According FAO reports aquaculture extension services have played an important role in the development of aquaculture; nevertheless, more is expected in the future. At grass root level efficient extension services are required to promote the existing farmers and potential farmers for effective promotion of equitable and sustainable development of aquaculture sector. In Kenya fish farming was popularized in the 1960s by the government through targeted “Eat More Fish” campaigns to promote consumption especially in the western and central parts of the country (Charles, 2007).
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.
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