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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 3 NO 1, MARCH, 2005

ETHNO-VETERINARY PRACTICES IN POND DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL BY FISH FARMERS IN NIGER STATE, NIGERIA

Bolorunduro, P.I*; O. C. Jegede; A. I. Annatte
National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, Zaria, Nigeria

ABSTRACT
The status of ethno-veterinary practices among fish farmers in Minna and Shiroro Local Government Areas in Niger State was investigated in 2003. Twenty (20) fish farmers were randomly selected in each L.G.A. bringing the total sample size to 40 farmers. Data collection by interview schedule was conducted through a structured questionnaire. The generated information was analyzed by descriptive statistics of percentages and means. Results of the study showed that 52.5% of the respondents were in the economically active age group of 31 – 49 years with the mean age at 30.5 years. The mean household size was 9.7, while only 25% of the farmers acquired western education at primary school level. The mean of fish farming experience was 8.5 years and all respondents were males, practicing subsistence aquaculture with pond sizes less than 500m2. Polyculture of fish species at extensive feeding dominated. Eighty percent (80%) of the farmers had no knowledge of any ethno-veterinary practices (EVP) in fish health management. Common diseases of cultured fish in the study area included ectoparasite, fungal growth, and skin cancer/infection. About 75% of the respondents had no contact with extension agents on pond management or preventive/control methods of fish diseases. Major problems uncounted by farmers include high cost of pond construction (87.5%) water shortage at dry season (87.5%) and lack of technical know-how of fish disease treatment and control (85%). Felt needs of all the farmers include training on fish health management and provision of subsidized good quality feeds and drugs. Recommended measures in boosting aquaculture in the state in particular and Nigeria as a whole include good quality feeds and drugs. Recommended measures in boosting aquaculture in the state in particular and Nigeria as a whole include the training of extension agents on fish health management and their support for regular contact with farmers.  Others are provision of nutrient rich feeds and subsidized drugs for fish farms; and the establishment of a medicinal plants research and development institute with national mandate on scientific packaging of herbal drugs that could serve as alternative medicine for human, animal and fish health matters.

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