Use of aquaculture technologies in Osun State, Nigeria
Aquaculture has been identified as a major means of meeting the domestic fish demand in Nigeria, though predominately practised at subsistence level through extensive culture system. The Training and Visit (T&V) extension system of Agricultural Development Program (ADP) in various states has ensured that improved production technology reach a larger proportion of the fish farmers for increased aquaculture production. The study was therefore aimed to investigate types of improved aquaculture technology used by the fish farmers in Osun State. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 50 fish farmers randomly selected from the three Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) zones in the state for the study. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square. Results show that 56% of fish farmers use less than 8 aquaculture technologies introduced by extension agents. These include earthen ponds for rearing fish (66%), culture of Clarias lazera (84%), stocking of 4-5 fingerlings per m3 (54%), the use of compounded feed (82%), NPK as inorganic fertilizer (58%), lime as neutralizer (72%) and drag net for cropping production ponds (78%). The training and visit approach was the main method used by extension agents for the dissemination of information. The test of hypothesis result revealed that usage of aquaculture technology is influenced by sources of credit and type of labour (p<0.01), frequency of cropping operations in a year (p<0.05), while level of education and age of farm were significant at p<0.1. Major constrains of fish farmers are lack of credit and reliable sources of fingerling (48%). It was recommended that fish farmers should be linked to reliable sources of credit and private producers encouraged to produce quality fingerlings and fishing feed. Extension agents should be provided with motorcycles to enable them visit fish farmers more frequently with aquaculture technologies, thereby increase production of cultured fish.
Keywords: Aquaculture, technologies, Osun State, fish farmers