Analysis of communication pathways and impacts of the Boo! Boo! Rat! campaign uri icon

abstract

  • To help rice farmers overcome problems of chronic rodent infestation, the Boo! Boo! Rat! campaign was implemented in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. The campaign promoted ecologically based rodent management (EBRM) as a community-level management approach. Our study was conducted one year after the campaign to evaluate its success in promoting EBRM messages, to provide insights on effective pathways to communicate and diffuse EBRM, and to document its impacts on the community. We conducted focus group discussions with farmers in nine villages within Zaragosa, and a quantitative survey among a random sample of 86 respondents to measure differences in knowledge, attitudes, and practices. The Boo! Boo! Rat! campaign successfully created awareness of EBRM, especially in the intensive-campaign village. The most effective pathways to reach farmers were personal interaction with those who champion EBRM, high-profile activities including the campaign launch and TV coverage, implementation for at least one cropping season, and constant visibility in the media. Mechanisms in place in the intensive-campaign village also facilitated the practice of EBRM by farmers. There were significant differences in knowledge and attitudes between those who were influenced by the campaign and those who had not heard of it. Moreover, there was a shift away from reliance on pesticides, the use of methods that are harmful to humans and the environment, and no action at all. Where intervention occurred, farmers in the dry season (DS) got higher yields of about 1 ton/ha. Farmers also emphasized that a stronger social cohesion was created because of the EBRM activities introduced in the campaign

publication date

  • 2010