KNOWLEDGE LEVEL OF IMPROVED CULTIVATION PRACTICES AMONG SERICULTURE FARMERS IN TREE MULBERRY - A STUDY IN KARNATAKA”
Sericulture is one of the promising enterprises supporting agriculture which may substantiate the income of small and large farmers. It is a labour intensive, employment creating and income generating agro based industry providing gainful employment to 8.51 million mostly rural people. Sericulture enterprise in its totality is a long chain industry from mulberry cultivation to fabric making. India occupies second in global silk production of 0.31 lakh metric tons after china with 1.42 lakh metric tons. Where as Karnataka has got highest area and production in India. This study was undertaken to study the knowledge level of improved cultivation practices in tree mulberry and to study the training needs and advantages of cultivating tree mulberry to farmers. The present study was conducted in Siddlagahatta and Chintamani taluks of Chikkaballapur district and Bangarpet and Srinivasapur taluks of Kolar district of Karnataka during 2017-18. Total sample for the study was 120 respondents from both the Districts. The statistical tools used were Frequency, Percentage, Mean, Standard deviation, Correlation and Multiple regression analysis. The results of the study reported that more number of sericulture farmers had medium overall knowledge level followed by high and few were having with low level of overall knowledge of improved sericulture practices. All the sericulture farmers had correct knowledge on mulberry variety. Suitable month for planting, kind of soil, ,ideal age of mulberry cutting, method of pruning, time of application of FYM, method of planting and spacing in mulberry. Training needs as expressed by sericulture farmers in mulberry production were pest and disease management, calculation of NPK fertilizers and spacing in mulberry. Where as in silkworm rearing includes leaf preservation and pest and disease management. Correlation and regression tests indicated that education, income, mass media participation, and extension participation of sericulture farmers had positive and significant relationship with their knowledge level and independent variables had contributed 76 percent of change in their knowledge level. Majority of the sericulturists expressed reasons for shifting to tree type mulberry cultivation over row system includes drought tolerant, less labour requirement, less chemical fertilizer requirement and high water use efficiency .Hence, farmers can be educated on improved practices including wider spacing through on farm trainings in large scale to raise tree type mulberry under dry land conditions. So, that farmers can learn to survive under rain fed conditions in sustainable manner.
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