TitleAquaculture Development and Uganda’s Agricultural Extension System : The Case of Fish Farmers in Central and Northern Regions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAtukunda, G, State, AE, Molnar, JJ, Atekyereza, P
JournalJournal of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development
Date Published04/2018
Keywordsagricultural extension, Aquaculture, fish farm

Agricultural extension services are critical to the development of crops, livestock and fish farming in order to bring about social change. Fish farming, though introduced over 50 years ago through research and extension, remains at a slow pace of growth. There is a consensus in academic and policy literature about the potential benefits of fish farming, particularly nutrition and income generation. So why has extension not been more successful in improving the status of fish farming? Most explanations focus on supply side issues highlighting lack of inputs, particularly fingerlings and feeds with little consideration given to how the extension services themselves are organized in view of fish farming under general agriculture. Equally absent in the discourse are the perspectives on the motivations and experiences of individual fish farmers. Drawing from the Actor Oriented Perspective, this paper examines the organization and current status of extension service provision in aquaculture based on perspectives of policy makers, extension workers and fish farmers. Interviews were conducted with 246 fish farmers, eight extension workers and 11 key informants from government institutions. Secondary sources of information included various government documents on agriculture. Results revealed slow growth of aquaculture due to institutional and social factors regarding alignment of extension service provision to the needs of fish farmers. Reforms instituted over the past decades in search of better ways to avail farmers with improved farming knowledge have had minimal success. Less than 50% of fish farmers received extension visits from district extension staff with moderate difference (p<0.05) between frequency of extension visits in central and northern regions. Bias of extension service provision towards production related technical and information aspects above building and strengthening social capital of fish farmers was noted. Extension interventions should be socially negotiated and adapted in view of aspirations and limitations of fish farmers.

Notice of Publication Number

NOP18-393 (English)