Socio-cultural factors influencing the adoption of ecologically based rodent pest management uri icon

abstract

  • Ecologically based rodent pest management (EBRM) offers an alternative and more effective approach than the reactive use of rodenticides following high losses in rice crops. EBRM combines both cultural and physical rodent management practices, requires a solid understanding of the ecology of the major rodent pest species, and targets community actions at key times of the year. This chapter illustrates the integration of socio-cultural factors in the implementation of EBRM in Vietnam to bring about farmer adoption. Particularly, it highlights the importance of building on farmer knowledge, experiential learning, social capital, culture, and history to ensure the adoption of EBRM. The adoption of EBRM is an important technological development in Vietnam, where rodents are one of the top three pests that limit rice production. Outbreaks of rodent populations occur episodically, causing major economic effects on smallholder farmers. EBRM was implemented in Binh Luc and Kim Bang districts of Ha Nam Province, with a 'before and after' framework employing two treatments - community action alone and community action with a community trap-barrier system (CTBS). Baseline and postbaseline surveys - knowledge, attitudes, and practices and socioeconomic (KAP & SE) data - were conducted among 302 respondents in the two districts. Farmer participatory action research was employed for farmers to 'learn by doing,' and enabled farmers and extension specialists to refine EBRM strategies to suit local conditions. The EBRM adoption in Ha Nam generated a significant change in farmers' rodent management practices, from heavy use of rodenticides to the practice of community action for rodent management. The involvement of farmers in integrated community action s doubled, from 36% presurvey to 62% postsurvey. Also, some of the key results and impact noted were a rice yield increase (9.4%), a reduction in rat-damaged area (93.5%), a reduction in rodenticide use (>50%), a reduction in yield losses due to rat damage (91.7%), and an increase in net returns (35%), which can partly be attributed to better rodent management practices

publication date

  • 2012