Asian Fisheries Society

Linkages between Social-learning Networks and Farm Sustainability for Smallholder Shrimp Farmers in Sri Lanka


Shrimp farming has the potential to improve income and diversify livelihoods in rural Sri Lanka. The industry faces challenges including low productivity, disease outbreaks, and unsustainable practices. Shrimp farmers’ perceptions about access to knowledge and their knowledge-exchange social networks were examined. A cross-sectional survey of 225 farmers was completed in two separate shrimp farming regions. The questionnaire assessed social learning networks, farm-level sustainability, demographics, and wealth of farmers. Associations between the number of connections in social learning networks (degrees) and the other factors from the questionnaire were examined using Poisson regression analysis. Overall, social learning networks were not highly connected (median farmer degree =2) and network structure varied by geographic location and farmer ethnicity. Higher social learning network degrees were associated with increased wealth and decreased ecological sustainability; however, this varied by ethnicity. Significant differences in networks between geographic areas and ethnicities point to the need for contextually adapted knowledge mobilisation activities.

Publication Date : 2016-06-30

Volume : 29

Issue : 2

Page : 96-111

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Date 2016/06/30
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