Journal of Basic and Applied Research International
 

Journal of Basic and Applied Research International, ISSN No. : 2395-3438 (Print), 2395-3446 (Online), Vol.: 23, Issue.: 3

Original Research Article

PERCEPTIONS OF SMALL SCALE FISH FARMERS ON AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN DOWA AND MCHINJI DISTRICTS IN CENTRAL MALAWI

 

DALO NJERA1, CHARITY CHONDE2, DAIMON KAMBEWA2, JOSEPH DZANJA2, DENNIS KAYAMBAZINTHU3 AND EDWARD MISSANJO4*

1Department of Forestry, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Mzuzu University, Private Bag 201, Mzuzu 2, Malawi.

2Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Developmental Studies, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.

3Forestry Department Headquarters, P.O. Box 30048, Lilongwe 3, Malawi.

4Department of Forestry, Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag 6, Dedza, Malawi.

Abstracts

Aquaculture holds the potential to improve productivity of small scale famers in Malawi. Establishment of fish farmers organisations with well-articulated institutional arrangement is essential in fish farming. This cross-sectional study examines perceptions of small scale fish farmers on aquaculture development in Dowa and Mchinji districts in central Malawi. A total of sixty-eight small scale fish farmers were used for the study. Data was collected using a standard structured questionnaire administered through face-to-face interviews and focus group discussion with leaders of fish farming groups. Data collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results revealed that majority (67.6%) of the farmers were mobilized by funding organisations to establish the fish farmer organisations. Most (40.0%) of the males joined the fish farming groups to increase their household incomes while the main reason for most (42.0%) of the female members was to enhance food security at household level. Inadequate knowledge on appropriate recommendations for organisational development and fish farming practices; lack of trust among members; and inadequate farming inputs were identified as the main challenges affecting the fish farming in the study area. However, there is potential for further development of the fish farming in the study area due to willingness of households to participate in fish farming activities. The study revealed that the identified challenges can be overcome by provision of training on organisation development and fish farming practices (81.2%); and provision of adequate support materials (69.2%). Therefore, the study recommends that local fishing institutions in the study area should be fully empowered (beginning with a participatory planning exercise) for sustainable aquaculture development.

Keywords :

Aquaculture; benefits; challenges; perceptions; participatory.