Development of mobile based fishery advisory prototype: An experience with fisher tribes of Garo Hills in North-Eastern Himalayan region of India
Abstract views: 623 / PDF downloads: 190
Meghalaya is one of the major fish consuming states in India, but fish is in short supply in the state due to inadequate domestic production to match its growing demand. Farmers of north-eastern hilly region of India, particularly the Garo Hill farmers are very much in need of scientific information on fish farming techniques, capacity building and training for sustainable fish farming in the area. The present study attempted to develop a mobile-based fishery advisory prototype in Garo Hills of Meghalaya as an alternate method of fishery extension to deliver right information at right time for Garo tribal farmers. Two thousand farmers from 65 villages (1000 farmers each from West Garo Hills District and South West Garo Hills District) were registered in Interactive Voice Response System(IVRS) with their farm details and mobile numbers. The major features of the system were to deliver the farm advisories (Pull Based) and information services (Push Based) using the software platform â€˜Interactive Information Dissemination System (IIDS 2.0). The study revealed that majority of the farmers were seeking information on source of fingerling (31.85%), information on training in fisheries (19.32%), feeding management (10.18%) and subsidies/schemes(9.66%) respectively. The seasonal distribution of calls received revealed that majority of queries were received from the farmers during monsoon season. It was also found that clarity (4.5) and usefulness (4.5) of messages ranked highest in terms of average perceived credibility scores in 5point continuum against different parameters. Further, the inclusion of need based training programme and convergence with public and private extension system helped to develop an ICT based Stakeholder Interface (Experts-Line Departments-Fishpreneurs-Fish Farmers) in the region.
Keywords: Fishery advisory services, Fishery information, Garo Tribe, Information and Communication Technology, Mobile extension, Pushed message credibility