Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) - Aquaculture Convergence: An Experience from Tripura, India
Issue: 2019 - Volume 19 [Issue 2]
College of Fisheries, CAU (Imphal), Lembucherra, Tripura -799210, India.
A. Sarkar *
Department of Agricultural Extension, College of Fisheries, CAU (Imphal), Lembucherra, Tripura -799210, India.
Department of Statistics, College of Fisheries, CAU (Imphal), Lembucherra, Tripura - 799210, India.
Department of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries, CAU (Imphal), Lembucherra, Tripura - 799210, India.
Y. J. Singh
Department of Fisheries Extension, College of Fisheries, CAU (Imphal), Lembucherra, Tripura -799210, India.
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Being purposed at understanding the utilization efficiency of excavated and/or reclaimed ponds as newly created assets under the MGNREGS, the present study was conducted at Dhalai district of Tripura state (India) with the objectives to: i) comprehend the physical performance of pond excavation and reclamation works under MGNREGS; and ii) peruse the nature of harnessing of the created assets at beneficiary level during post work execution phase of the scheme. While the first objective was addressed through utilizing secondary information, the second one was attained through administering separate sets of pre-tested structured interview schedule over 92 MGNREGS beneficiaries and 27 functionaries remained responsible for effective implementation of the scheme. Study revealed that the district had executed 16717 no. of works combining both pond excavation and reclamation jobs during 2012-13 to 2016-17, of which the shares of pond excavation and reclamation works were 81.77% and 18.23%, respectively. Despite such good physical performance in work execution, very poor accrual of average annual fish productivity (414.25 kg ha-1) was recorded at the fish ponds of beneficiaries. It lagged by 5.98 times from the state average and 5.74 times from the average of even Dhalai district, where the study was conducted. Although 66.30% of the beneficiaries of MGNREGS had no previous experience of culture fisheries as they became first ever owners of pond, a staggering 67.39% of them didn’t receive any knowledge vis-a-vis skill enabling training on scientific aquaculture, which led to disappointing extents of their knowledge (34.75%) and adoption (32.85%) of scientific aquaculture. Garrett ranking revealed ‘lack of systematic and timely supply of critical inputs from the Fisheries Department’ and ‘lack of training facilities’ to be the two prime perceived constraints of the beneficiary respondents. The two most important suggestions emanated from them were: ‘timely provisioning of critical inputs from the Dept. of Fisheries’ and ‘arranging of more longer duration hands-on training programmes to make those really worthy for the fish farmers’.
Keywords: Dhalai, MGNREGS-aquaculture convergence, pond excavation/reclamation, Tripura