Perception of tribal farmers on fish culture practices in small water bodies: an exploratory study in Khowai district of Tripura, India
Fish plays an important role in economic growth of Tripura, the state with the highest per capita fish consumption. Fish culture in small water bodies, a predominant practice in the state, is being duly promoted by the State Government in form of a scheme named “Fish culture in smaller water bodies”, in which farmers have been provided with inputs and endowed with technical assistance. As far as the farmers’ perception on this scheme was concerned, no such similar studies was found in place in the state. Thus, the present study was conducted among thirty fish farmers-cum-beneficiaries of the scheme from different villages of Tulashikhar block of Khowai district to understand their perception of satisfaction towards different aspects under the scheme. Structured interview schedule, consisting of a set of variables, was administered to the respondents and they were asked to rate those in a five point Likert scale with points very low (1) to very high (5). Rank Based Quotient (RBQ) has been calculated to sequence the constraints faced by the respondents related to the scheme. Findings of the present research revealed that majority of respondents were male (90%) and belonged to 31-45 years (70%) age group. As revealed, cent percent of the respondents belonged to Schedule Tribes (ST) with an average annual income of Rs.1,12,650 (SE ± 9129.44) and average pond area of 0.12 ha (SE ± 0.012). As part of the perception about the scheme was concerned, the variable, ‘Socio-cultural acceptance’ scored the highest (4.1), suggesting ‘high’ level of satisfaction. In contrary, other variables like usefulness, sustainability, sufficiency in allocated fund, implementation, timeliness, monitoring by the Department of Fisheries (DoF) officials etc. were scored in between 2 to 3, indicating ‘low’ to ‘medium’ level of satisfaction. Results of RBQ backed by further inquiry revealed that ‘inefficient implementation’, ‘delayed departmental proceedings’ and ‘lack of timeliness in providing inputs’ were perceived to be the three major constraints associated with the scheme.