Accurate and relevant information along with its easy accessibility and proper utilization is an important pre-requisite for scientific goat farming. An ex-post-facto study was carried out among goat keepers of Mathura district (UP) to review the accessibility and utilization of information on scientific goat rearing. For data collection, 160 goat keepers, randomly selected from four highest goat populated blocks of district were personally interviewed. Accessibility of information was assessed in term of frequency of (yes/no) responses, while, extent of utilization of accessed information was measured on three point continuum i.e. frequently, sometimes and never. Respondents were also asked for three most preferred accessible information sources in terms of personal-localite, personal-cosmopolite and mass- media. Results revealed that 85 percent of goat keepers had no accessibility of relevant information. Respondents utilizing the accessed information frequently, were even less than 20 percent, while, more than 30 percent of them had never used it. Primary source of information was personal-localite followed by personal-cosmopolite. Mass-media sources, due to very less coverage on goat specific information were completely inaccessible. Investigation concludes that goat farmers had low accessibility and further low utilization of relevant information.
The challenges and constraints of livestock production system is increasing in the form of, climate change and global warming, shortage of feed and fodder, livestock health implications,
ever increasing animal food demand etc. In this situation, the small ruminants especially goat has a tremendous potential to be projected as, “Future animal” for both rural and urban prosperity (ICAR-CIRG, 2011). Due to its special characteristic features, goat has got many honors like “poor man’s cow”, “mobile and live bank”, “food factories”, “walking refrigerators” etc. Information is viewed as a critical resource like land, labour and capital and it has become an important input for any production system and decision making process. Similarly, livestock information is a key component for increased livestock production and productivity as, critical and necessary information and infrastructure support is of vital importance for adoption of scientific livestock practices. There is a significant and positive relationship of information sources with knowledge level about animal husbandry practices (Sagar and Goswami, 1998). Accurate and relevant information along with its easy accessibility and proper utilization is an important pre-requisite for scientific goat farming, since it plays a pivotal role in addressing goat health and husbandry practices. Kumar (2007) reported that high mortality in goats in the initial phase was mainly due to lack of knowledge about package of practices of improved goat farming, poor management, poor preparedness of the farmers, lack of the personal attention of the entrepreneurs and poor access to veterinary services. Mathura, Uttar Pradesh is home to the Central Institute for Research on goats (CIRG), a premier research institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), an autonomous organization under Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Mathura is also home for the Uttar Pradesh Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Veterinary University. During year 2015, an ex-post-facto study was carried out among goat keepers of Mathura district (UP) to review the accessibility and utilization of information on scientific goat rearing.
Materials and Methods
For investigation purpose, on the basis of highest goat population, four blocks named Pharah, Baldeo, Mathura and Gowardhan were selected among 10 blocks of district. Further, 2 villages were selected from each of the selected block in a similar manner making a total of 8 villages for the study. From each selected village an exhaustive list of goat keepers, having minimum three years experience of goat rearing with herd size at least of five goats, was prepared and 20 of them were selected randomly from each list as the respondents. Thus for data collection total 160 respondents were interviewed personally through semi-structured interview schedule. For study purpose, information on scientific goat husbandry was divided into six sub-areas viz., feeding, housing-management, health care, breeding and marketing-finance. Accessibility of information was assessed in term of frequency of yes (for accessible) and no (for inaccessible) responses, while, extent of utilization of accessed information was measured on three point continuum i.e. frequently, sometimes and never. Respondents were also asked to name three accessible information sources in accordance to their preference in terms of personal localite, personal cosmopolite and mass media. The data were compiled, tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis methods like frequency and percentage by following standard statistical methods described by Snedecor and Cochran (1994).
Result and Discussion
The results obtained in the investigation and relevant discussions have been presented under following sub-heads:
Accessibility of Information
Data presented in Table 1 shows that accessibility of information related to improved goat rearing was not satisfactory among the respondents.
Table 1: Accessibility of information on improved goat rearing (N=160)
|Information Area of Goat Husbandry||Accessibility|
|Housing & management||22||13.75||138||86.25|
|Marketing & finance||15||9.37||145||90.63|
More than 85 per cent of goat rearing farmers in study area reported, they had no accessibility of relevant information in all the selected sub-areas of goat husbandry. Maximum accessibility was in case of health care while, information related to marketing-finance was least accessible. Only 15.62 per cent respondents were getting information on goat health care followed by housing-management (13.75%), feeding (12.5%) and breeding (10.62%) while marketing-finance information was accessible to less than even ten per cent (9.37%) respondents. The results strengthen the need to identify the factors responsible for this low accessibility of goat management information along with powering the information delivery system. Results are partially in line with NSSO survey (2006) which revealed that only 5.1 per cent of the farmer households in India are able to access the information on animal husbandry.
Accessible Sources Related to Information on Goat Rearing
Various sources of information related to goat rearing accessible to respondents were classified in three groups viz., personal localite, personal cosmopolite and mass media. Respondents were asked to name three information sources in accordance to their preference. Frequency and percentage of each information source was calculated against different information areas of goat rearing.
Table 2: Accessible information sources for goat farmers
|Information Area||Accessible Information Source|
|Preference to Information Source||Personal Localite||Personal Cosmopolite||Mass Media|
|Health Care (N=25)||I||14||56||11||44||0||0|
|Marketing & Finance (N=15)||I||9||60||6||40||0||0|
Data in Table 2 indicates that majority of goat farmers in study area were dependent on personal localite sources for information related to goat farming followed by personal cosmopolite, while mass media sources was least accessible. In all selected fields of goat farming i.e., feeding, housing-management, health care, breeding and marketing personal localite sources like neighbor farmers, friends and family members were the primary source of information. Personal cosmopolite sources like; Para vets and goat selling agents or middle man was having considerable accessibility in case of health care and marketing information. Regarding information on feeding management of goat, majority (75.00%) of respondents were accessing personal localite sources followed by personal cosmopolite sources (25.00%). Nearly similar responses were obtained in case of hosing-management, where, 81.82 per cent were primarily dependent on personal localite sources than personal cosmopolite sources (18.18%). In case of goat health, respondents were nearly equally dependent on personal localite and cosmopolite sources, where, 56 per cent goat farmers ranked personal localite sources as primary and 44 per cent of them ranked personal cosmopolite as primary. For information on breeding management 58.82 percent respondent first preferred to localite sources then to cosmopolite sources (41.18%). Information on marketing and finance were primarly accessed from localite sources (60%) followed by cosmopolite sources (40%). So overall primary source of information for goat farmers was personal localite sources while personal cosmopolite sources were secondary. Mass media sources, due to very less coverage on goat specific information were completely inaccessible for goat farmers in the study area. Personal localite sources had more approachability and hence, perceived as primary source in all sub-areas while, cosmopolite sources due to their credibility were more apparent for information on health care marketing and breeding. Results are in tune with findings of Kumar et al. (2014), who reported that personal localite sources of information were the most utilized sources among all the information sources in the field of livestock rearing in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh; but contradicts Roy (2013), where he found that cent per cent of the respondents had facilities to get information from Paravets while, 88.33 per cent had facilities to get information from both veterinary doctors and livestock assistants. Pal et al. (2009) in their study on communication pattern in dry land of Uttar Pradesh revealed that the access of different cosmopolite sources was low as compared to interpersonal localite sources.
Utilization of Accessed Information on Improved Goat Rearing Among Respondents
Extent of utilization of accessed information in different sub areas of goat rearing viz., feeding, housing-management, health care, breeding and marketing &finance were measured on a three point continuum; frequently, sometimes and never according to the response of respondents.
Table 3: Utilization of accessed information among respondents
|Information Area||Extent of Utilization|
|Housing & Management(N=22)||3||13.64||10||45.45||9||40.91|
|Health care (N=25)||5||20.00||12||48.00||8||32.00|
|Marketing & finance(N=15)||4||26.67||8||53.33||3||20|
Data in Table 3 reveals that in all five sub-areas, the utilization of accessed information was not regular. The percentage of respondents who were utilizing the accessed information frequently was even less than 20 per cent while, more than 30 percent of them had never used the accessed information. Maximum utilization of information was recorded in marketing and finance area because fewer options were available to respondents in this area, while, information related to breeding were least used probably due to less human intervention was required in goat breeding.
On the basis of results obtained it could be concluded that, overall goat farmers in study area had low accessibility and further low utilization of information about scientific goat rearing. So, the study recommends the need to identify the factors responsible for the same.