Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.29, Nov, Suppl, Issue, 2023; Page No.(S185-S198)

PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL OF FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AQUACULTURE

Nisha Elizabeth Joshua and S.N. Ojha

Abstract

Recent declining trends in landings from capture fisheries and increasing population has raised serious concerns about the food and nutritional security of millions of people. Aquaculture is thus seen as a viable alternative to fill the gap in supply of fish. Extension services in aquaculture provide adequate support in furthering the development of the sector. The current study focuses on identification of key factors for the development of aquaculture sector in Kerala, India. A questionnaire based survey was carried out among 550 randomly selected respondents of five selected districts of Kerala, India. The respondents composed of beneficiaries of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), staff of the Department of Fisheries (DoF), ATMA Governing Board (GB) members and ATMA Management Committee (MC) members. The major aquaculture development indicators closely associated with extension services were identified. The major indicators included extension contact, information acquisition, information dissemination, ATMA activities and expectations. Similarly sub indicators were identified and were used for the formulation of the performance evaluation matrix. Farmers’ score for extension contact (24.54%), farm information acquisition (49.23%) and expectation score (71.39%) indicated enough scope for improvement which implied lack of sufficient contact with resource persons, improper mechanism of obtaining information and high expectation from the extension service providers. Officials’ score on extension contact (36%), farm information dissemination score (49%) and expectation (53%) indicated low contact with the farmers, moderate information dissemination and fairly high level of expectation in providing efficient extension services to farmers. Officials’ score on farm information acquisition (62.5%) and ATMA activities (57.46%) showed that they need to vigorously conduct extension activities and acquire farm related information from traditional and modern mass media sources. The scores obtained for key performance appraisal indicators reflected scope for improvement in terms of the selected indicators. The findings could be utilised for developing improved policy measures for strengthening aquaculture extension system that could lead to a boom in aquaculture development.