Production from small scale pond aquaculture in Bangladesh trebled in the decade to 1999 under the influence of extension projects of the Department of Fisheries. The impacts of completed aquaculture extension projects and practices of former participants have rarely been investigated so this was done for four past projects. The different extension approaches were: extension with credit and intensive or little supervision; demonstrations; group extension and informal extension by fry traders; and adaptive research-development. Generally extension recipients and non-participants had similar sized landholdings, but demonstration farmers had larger farms and ponds. Extension recipients mainly received information from project-related sources and rated its utility highly. Neighbours and control farmers mainly obtained information from mass media and other farmers, over 90% of these households also cultivated fish. Extension recipients generally followed better practices: for example stocking fewer fingerlings and achieving higher production than non-participants, but with wide variations. Training of fry traders appeared to reduce overstocking in general probably due to the advice of fry traders. Overall, 2-6 years after extension the recipients have continued to farm fish, have a fair understanding of good practice and achieve reasonable yields. Limited demonstration effects occurred. Extension through group approaches and informal agents seem to be cost effective for the many pond owners in Bangladesh.
Comparison of aquaculture extension impacts in Bangladesh
Thompson, P.M., Firoz Khan, A.K.M., Sultana, P. (2006)
Agricultural Economics & Management, 10(1):15-31