Aquaculture, Semarang – The AVESMA (Aquaculture Virtual Extension Service Mobile Application) project funded by NWO-WOTRO, Netherlands and chaired by Tita Elfitasari, SPi., MSc., PhD has successfully launched the AVESMA application in 2022. To find out whether the application is suitable for the conditions of small-scale fish farmers, research on several fish farmer groups was carried out to test the application. This research involved 8 undergraduate students and 8 lecturers from the Aquaculture Study Program. The students carried out these trials on various fish farmer groups spread across Central Java such as Semarang, Jepara, Pati, Demak, etc. Apart from that, the cultivation species also vary, namely catfish, tilapia, and shrimp. The research method used uses a mixed method of experimentation, interviews, and observation.
The research results show that the majority of cultivators, before using the AVESMA application, did not have financial records and did not monitor water quality properly and correctly. After using the AVESMA application, cultivators have a better understanding on monitoring water quality and finances. The statistical test results show that there are significant differences before and after using the AVESMA application. However, some of the challenges the team obtained from the results of this research were unstable internet connections, reluctance to use the application due to difficulties in utilizing technology, lack of motivation to disciplinely update data on the application and cultivators felt the application was too complex for them.
Based on this information, the team will always try to make improvements to the application in the future. This will be done by involving more extension workers and cultivators to use this application and by collaborating with the government to reach small-scale fish farmers that cover wider geographical locations.