This study was conducted to ascertain the extent of adoption of improved buffalo husbandry practices and its relationship with the socio-economic characteristics of the dairy farmers in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh state, India. It was undertaken in six randomly selected villages of the district from which 120 dairy farmers were selected randomly. The study revealed that the overall extent of adoption of buffalo husbandry practices in the study area was found to be about 40.40 per cent. Mass media exposure, land holding, herd size, milk consumption, milk sale and overall knowledge were found to have positive and significant relationship with overall adoption at 1 per cent level of significance while personal-localite; personal-cosmopolite and milk production had positive and significant relationship with overall adoption at 5 per cent level of significance.
In developing countries like India, livestock provide the potential source of employment and in turn contribute to the national income; livestock production related technologies could be used as a potential means of increasing productivity and subsequently raising the incomes and living standard of the farmers. Higher milk production can be achieved by proper implementation of the scientific dairy husbandry practices but many research evidences revealed that the buffalo owners in India are not keeping pace with the constantly changing improved technologies. Bainwad et al. (2007) and Aulakh et al. (2012) worked in Maharastra and Punjab respectively and found that adoption of scientific dairy husbandry practices are low and many farmers are still using traditional husbandry practices which may be the cause of low production and productivity of the dairy animals. India is endowed with largest livestock population in the world and buffalo population is 105.3 million, which is approximately 56 per cent of the total world population (FAO 2008). Buffalo contribute more than one-third of the total milk production in Asia. India ranks first in the world, producing 65 per cent of the world’s buffalo milk. Buffalo has been found to be better suited as milch animal because they produce milk with higher energy and better suitability for most of the products. Buffalo has the unique ability to utilize coarse feeds, straws and crop residues and convert them in to milk and meat at a higher rate of feed conversion efficiency than that of cow. They are reported to have 5% higher digestibility of crude fibers than high yielding cows and 4-5% higher efficiency of utilization of metabolic energy for milk production (Mudgal et al.,1995). In India buffalo has been the back bone of rural economy. Basically, milk production and productivity depends on four dimensions of animal husbandry practices i.e. breeding, feeding, health-care and management practices. Animal Husbandry sector plays a vital role in providing household nutritional security, increased income and employment in rural transformation. Livestock provide economic security and social status to the family. Thus progress in livestock sector is directly related to a more balanced development of rural economy and upliftment of poorer sections of the society. Uttar Pradesh, highest milk producing state in India, has share of 44.5 per cent buffaloes in its own livestock population which is contributing 69.3 per cent of total milk production of the state. The productivity of buffaloes in the state is not good. Average per capita milk production for buffaloes (litres) is 4.4 while it is about half of Punjab (8.64) and Haryana (7.35) (BAHS, 2014). There is a large scope in improvement of productivity of buffaloes in this state and it can be maximize through adoption of improved buffalo husbandry practices. The extent of adoption of these practices by the dairy farmers could be influenced by a set of factors including, socio-economic characteristics of the farmers. Thus, this study was designed to see the relationship between socioeconomic characteristics of the dairy farmers and adoption of improved buffalo husbandry practices in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh state, India.
Materials and Methods
The present study was undertaken in Unnao district of the Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has highest, i.e. 28.17 per cent buffalo’s population in the country. As per 19th livestock census, the State has 30.6 million buffaloes. The Uttar Pradesh produced 23.3 million tonnes of milk during 2012-13 occupying the first rank in milk production in the country (BAHS, 2014).The total annual milk and meat production of the district is 315.50 lakh tonne and 2.68 lakh kg respectively (Anonymous, 2008).
Unnao district was selected purposively because the ratio of buffalo to cattle population is highest in this district. The present study was conducted in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. The selected Unnao district having 16 blocks, out of which three blocks were selected randomly. From each selected block, two villages were selected by simple random sampling technique. From each selected village a list of dairy farmers based on land holding and herd size was prepared and only those dairy farmers were selected who were having 50 per cent or more adult buffalo in their herd. From this list 20 dairy farmers from each village were selected by following proportionate random sampling technique. Thus, the sample comprised of one district, two blocks, six villages and 120 dairy farmers.
Data Collection and Analysis
A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to collect the relevant information. The data collected included the socio-economic characteristics viz., age, education, family size, social participation, land – holding, herd size, milk production, milk sale, annual income, knowledge level of the farmers regarding improved buffalo husbandry practices and extent of adoption of improved buffalo husbandry practices of the farmers in the study area. A test developed by Sharma (2005) was employed to measure the extent of knowledge of the dairy farmers regarding improved buffalo husbandry practices. The knowledge index was calculated using the following formula-
Knowledge Test = ´ 100
To estimate the extent of adoption of buffalo husbandry practices, a test developed by Sharma (2005) was used. The respondents were asked to give their opinion about adoption of these practices on three point continuum i.e. always, sometimes, and never the scores 2, 1, and 0 were allotted respectively. The adoption index was calculated by the following formula-
Adoption Index = ´ 100
After the extent of adoption of the improved buffalo husbandry practices of the farmer was computed, the correlation coefficient (r) values of selected socio-economic characteristics of the respondents were computed to see the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and adoption of improved dairy husbandry practices in the study area.
Results and Discussion
The results obtained from analysis of data collected from the dairy farmers of Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh is discussed here.
Socio-Personal and Economic Profile of the Respondents
The study revealed that most of the farmers belonged to middle age group (48.00 %) ranging from 36 to 50 years and young (35.00 %) age group (up to 35 years). The findings were supported by Sharma (2005) and Verma (2012). In the study area it was found that most (21.00%) of the respondent were having education up to intermediate level, 20.00 per cent up to high school level, 18.00 per cent up to middle level, 14.00 per cent respondents up to graduate and above, 17.00 per cent up to primary level and 10.00 per cent of the respondents were illiterate. Similar finding were observed by Kannan (2002) and Sah (2005). Regarding family size most (67.00 %) of the respondents were having medium family size ranging from 5 to 7 members. It has been shown that among the respondents most (65.00%) had low level of social participation. Similar finding was observed by Devi (2004).The reason for the low social participation might be that there are very less social institutions in the study area and their social mobility is also less. According to Table 1 most (66.00%) of the dairy farmers had medium level of mass media exposure.
The above findings are in conformity with the findings of Sah (2005). Data analysed in Table showed that majority 52.00 per cent of farmers were having medium personal localite contacts, followed by low (32.00%) and high (16.00%) personal localite source of information. It was revealed that 47.00 per cent of farmers were having medium personal cosmopolite channel. Whereas, 40.00 per cent had low (<3) personal cosmopolite channels being used as source of information. Table 1 showed that majority (37.00%) of dairy farmers were marginal farmers followed by 17.00, 16.00, 12.00, 11.00 and 7.00 per cent were small, landless, semi-medium, medium and large farmers respectively. Results in Table 1 revealed that majority (66.00%) of the respondents had medium (3-5animals) herd size. It was observed that 42.00 per cent of the respondents were in medium category (8-13 litres/day) of milk production, followed by 41.00 per cent and 17.00 per cent respondents in low (>8 litres/day) and high (<13 litres/day) category of milk production respectively. Similar finding was observed by Verma (2012). Glances at Table 1 showed that majority (62.00%) of respondents were in medium category (4-7 litres/day) of milk sale. Verma (1993) found the similar trend in his study. Results (Table 1) showed that most (91.00%) of respondents were in medium (`1.0-3.0 lakhs/year) total annual income category. Similar findings were observed by Lokhande (2009) and Rani (2010).
Table 1: Distribution of respondents based on their socio-personal and economic profile
|1||Age (in years)||Young ( up to35)||42||35|
|Middle (36 – 50)||58||48|
|Old ( >50)||20||17|
|2||Education||Graduate and above||17||14|
|4||Social participation||Low (<3)||79||65|
|Medium (3 to 4)||33||28|
|5||Mass media exposure||Low (<3)||38||32|
|Medium (3 to 4)||79||66|
|6||Personal Localite||Low (<4)||38||32|
|Medium (4 to 7)||63||52|
|7||Personal Cosmopolite||Low (<3)||48||40|
|Medium (3 to 6)||57||47|
|9||Herd size(No.)||Small (<3)||34||28|
|Medium (3 to 5)||79||66|
|10||Milk production(in litres)||Low (<8)||49||41|
|Medium (8 to13)||50||42|
|11||Milk sale(in litres)||Low (<4)||24||20|
|Medium (4 to 7)||74||62|
|12||Total Annual Income(in / year)||Low (<1.0 lakhs)||2||2|
|Medium (1.0-3.0 lakhs)||109||91|
Distribution of Dairy Farmers According to Adoption Level of Buffalo Husbandry Practices
Table 2 revealed that mean adoption in breeding practices was 8.3 in 12 point score. Further, majority (75.83%) of the respondents had medium level of adoption followed by low (12.50%) and high (11.67%) level of adoption in breeding practices. This finding is being supported by Sharma (2005).
Table 2: Distribution of dairy farmers according to adoption level of buffalo husbandry practices (n=120)
|Clean Milk Production||Low(<5)||26||21.67|
|Health care practices||Low(<5)||30||25|
Mean adoption in feeding practices was 6.1 in 10 point score. Further, majority (62.50%) of the respondents possessed medium level of adoption followed by low (21.67%) and high (15.83%) adoption level in feeding practices (Table 2). Similar findings were observed by Sharma and Singh (2010) and Meena et al. (2007). Mean adoption in management practices was 11.6 in 14 point score. Further, majority (65.00%) of respondents had medium level of adoption followed by high (28.33%) and low (6.67%) level of adoption in management practices (Table 2). These findings are in accordance with the findings of and Sharma (2005). Table 2 also shows that mean adoption in clean milk production was 6.2 in 12 point score. Further, majority (53.33%) of the respondents had medium level of adoption followed by high (25.00%) and low (21.67%) level of adoption in clean milk production. Similar findings were reported by Kumar et al. (2014). Mean adoption in health care practices was 5.7 in 12 point score. Majority (60.83%) of the respondents possessed medium level of adoption followed by low (25.00%) and high (14.17%) adoption level in health care practices (Table 2). Similar findings were observed by Sharma and Singh 2010) and Yadav and Yadav (1995).
Table 2 also shows that mean adoption in overall buffalo husbandry practices was 40.4 in 60 point score. Further, 48.33% of the respondents had medium level of overall adoption whereas only 4.17% had high and 47.50% had low level of overall adoption. These findings are in line with Meena and Singh (2014), Meena et al. (2007) and Sharma (2005).
Correlation Analysis of Selected Independent Variables with Adoption
The ‘r’ values of the considered socio-economic characteristics are presented in Table 3. The result showed that, out of the variables considered, age had no significant relationship with adoption. This result is in conformity with the findings of Arora et al. (2006) and Rathore et al. (2009) who had reported non-significant relationship of age with adoption of farm technologies but contradicting with the findings of Hasan et al. (2008) and Sharma et al. (2009) who had reported positive and significant relationship of age with adoption.
Table 3: Relationship between socio-economic characteristics of farmers and adoption of buffalo husbandry practices
|S. No.||Variables||‘r’ Value|
|5||Mass Media Exposure||0.273**|
**Significant at the 0.01 level of significance; *Significant at the 0.05 level of significance
Education status had no significant relationship with adoption of the improved buffalo husbandry practices (P<0.01) (Table 3). These findings are not in agreement with the findings of Sandeep et al. (2006) and Sharma et al. (2009). Mass media exposure, and knowledge of the dairy farmers on buffalo husbandry practices had positive and highly significant relationship with the adoption of scientific dairy husbandry practices (P<0.01). These findings are in agreement with the findings of Ghosh et al. (2004). The data presented in Table 3 indicated that land holding, herd size and milk sale had positive and significant relationship with overall adoption at 1 per cent level of significance. These findings are in agreement with the findings of Sharma et al. (2009). Personal localite, personal cosmopolite and milk production had positive and significant relationship with overall adoption at 5 per cent level of significance. Sahu et al. (2011) also reported that milk production was found significant (P<0.05) and a positive correlation. Thus it could be concluded that knowledge is very important for adoption of all the buffalo husbandry practices.
The study of the profile of the respondents indicates that most of them were medium aged with education up to intermediate level. It was found that, where majority of respondents possessed medium level of overall adoption regarding breeding, feeding, health and management practices, although a large fraction of respondents were under low level of overall adoption regarding these practices. It was also found that there was no significant relationship between age and educational level on the overall adoption but mass media exposure, land holding, herd size, milk sale, overall knowledge were having significant positive relationship with overall adoption. So it could be concluded that awareness and knowledge level of respondents regarding improved buffalo husbandry practices is very important factor for adoption of all these practices and any effort which can improve knowledge level of these farmers certainly can contribute higher adoption level. Hence it was suggested that an educational programme having maximum emphasis on the perceived needs of dairy farmers in buffalo husbandry practices should be developed including a variety of informal teaching methods, short duration training programmes, demonstrations and utilization of maximum potential of mass media exposure.