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Volume 6, Issue 3, June Issue - 2018, Pages:633-638

Authors: Srinivas A, V. Sudha Rani, I. Sreenivasa Rao
Abstract: Seed Banks are places of storage where indigenous seed varieties are conserved and managed by farmers. These are not evaluated with respect to their relevance to tribal farmer’s needs and preferences. In order to measure the tribal farmer’s attitude towards seed bank, it is necessary to construct a scale for this purpose. Method of Equal-Appearing Intervals was used to construct the attitude scale. Total 53 attitude statements about seed banking expressing varied degree of favorableness were collected, edited on the basis of the Edward’s criteria. These statements were subjected to scrutiny by an expert panel. Based on subjects response a standardized scale has been developed with 25 statements. The reliability and validity of the scale indicates its precision and consistency of the results.
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Full Text: 1 Introduction With the modernization of agriculture and agricultural practices, cropping patterns have changed and genetic diversity started getting lost. As a result, the genetic base of traditional seed varieties reduced considerably and several traditional seed varieties are now facing extinction. The main reason for this is lack of seed banks. Seed banks usually store seed from a wide range of individuals, informal groups and NGOs who share seed among themselves (Lewis & Mulvany, 1997). Promoting the local seed varieties through informal seed distribution systems such as community seed banks/seed banks is the need of the hour in tribal areas (Khadka et al., 2012; Maharjan et al., 2012; Shrestha  et al., 2012; Malik et al., 2013; Singh et al., 2013; Vernooy et al., 2017).In order to promote seed banks in tribal areas, it is necessary to know the attitude of the farmers towards seed banking. In the present study, the various psychological objects such as the seed accessibility, seed production, seed storage, use and seed distribution to others has been symbolized. For this purpose, the study was designed with the objective to develop a scale to measure attitude towards seed banking. 2 Materials and Methods The attitude scale was constructed by using the equal appearing interval scale developed by Thurstone & chave (1927). Initially, A set of items and statements which elicits the farmers attitude towards seed banking was developed under supervision and consultation of experts, these statements were based on various possible sources viz., literature, discussion with experts, experience of investigator and scientists who work in tribal areas (Chandra & Kumar 2007; Kumar & Ratnakar, 2011). A tentative list of 100 statements expressing varied degree of favorableness was drafted keeping in view of the applicability of statements suited to the area of study. The collected statements were edited based on Edwards 14’s criteria (Edwards,1969) and 47 statements were eliminated. For the universe of content (statements related to seed banking prior to testing for scalability) fifty three statements were selected. The selected statements were sent to 80 subjects for evaluation and decision. The subjects selected for the study comprised experts in the field of extension, plant breeding, seed technology, Scientists working in tribal areas. Each subject was asked for their rating on 7 point (seven intervals) continuum in terms of the degree of favorableness or unfavorableness feeling expressed by each statement. Finally, out of 80 subjects only 50 subjects are replied. 2.1 Calculations of Scale and Q values The data obtained from 50 subjects for each statement are arranged in table as frequency and proportions in the first and second row respectively. The proportions are obtained by dividing each frequency by the total number of subjects. The ‘S’ and ‘Q’ values given in scale were judged on the basis of 50 respondents opinion and equal appearing interval which were computed by calculating the median value (S) and their inter quartile range (Q) (Kumar, 2009). The objective was to have small number of statements evenly placed on the continuum. The median value is considered as scale value and it was calculated by using following formula. (Thurstone & chave, 1927) S=l+0.50-PbPwi   Where S = the median or scale value; l = the lower limit of the interval in which the scale value falls; Pb = the sum of the proportion below the interval in which the scale value falls; Pw = the proportion within the interval in which the scale value falls; l = the width of the interval and it is assumed to be equal to 1.00 Q= C75-C25 Q = inter quartile range; C75 =  75th centile; C25 = 25th Centile 25th centile=C25=l+0.25-PbPwi  75th centile=C75=l+0.50-PbPwi   When there is good agreement among the subjects in judging the degree of favorableness of a statement, Q value will be small. A large Q value indicates disagreement among the judges as to the degree of attribute possessed by a statement and it is, therefore, taken as an indication that there is some ambiguity in the statement. Thurstone & Chave (1929) regard large Q values primarily as an indication that a statement is ambiguous. It is also may be due to the fact that statement is interpreted in more than one way by the subjects. 3 Results Out of 53 statements 25 statements were selected based on scale ‘S’ and interquartile range (Q) values. The selected statements scale values equally spaced on the psychological continuum and the Q values are relatively small (Table 1). 3.1 Standardization of the scale: A scale is said to be standard only when it has validity and reliability. Validity means the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure.  Reliability  is consistency   of   measurement   (Bollen,   1989),   or   stability   of measurement  over  a  variety  of  conditions  in  which  basically  the same results should be obtained (Nunnally, 1978). 3.1.1 Reliability The reliability of scale was worked out by using test-retest method. The final selected 25 statements were given to the group of 30 farmers and these respondents were asked to give their response on three point continuum.  After a period of fortnight the scale was again given to the same respondents and asked to give their response. Thus two sets of scores were obtained for the same statements. The correlation coefficient (r) for both the tests was calculated and it was 0.79 at 0.01 level of probability. This indicates the attitude scale was highly reliable. 3.1.2 Validity of the scale The validity of the scale is based on content validation method. In the present scale the content was thoroughly covered all the aspects related to seed banking behavior. Based on this, it was assumed that present scale satisfied the content validity. Thus the attitude scale is said to be valid. The constructed scale is proved its validity and reliability. Now, this scale can be used as an instrument for measuring attitude of tribal farmers towards seed banking. 4 Discussion and Conclusion   The preference of farmers in procuring the seed specifically local seed varieties needs to be ascertained. There are limited study and tools for measuring farmer’s attitude pertaining to seed banking. This scale has been developed to measure the farmer’s attitude towards seed banking. Further, the scale can be used to measure farmer’s attitude beyond the study area with suitable modifications (Subrahmayeswari & Chander, 2008; Patel, 2015; Sivaraj et al., 2016). Results of present study are in agreement with the findings of previous researchers (Khadka et al., 2012; Maharjan et al., 2012; Shrestha  et al., 2012; Malik et al., 2013; Singh et al., 2013; Vernooy et al., 2017). Acknowledgement: Authors are highly thankful to tribal farmers of the study area for providing information on seed banking. Conflict of Interest The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this research paper.

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