Insect management beliefs and practices of rice farmers in Laos uri icon

abstract

  • Insecticide use in Laos is low, although there is an indication of recent increase. Chemicals hazardous to human health, namely methyl parathion and monocrotophos, are still commonly used. Farmers' beliefs and attitudes towards insects and insecticide use are similar to other Asian countries. Most farmers strongly believe that insects decrease production and have to be controlled with insecticides. A social psychology framework was used to analyse farmers' beliefs and norms. Farmers' spray frequencies were correlated with both the belief and norm indices, implying that farmers' spray decisions are influenced by these two components. Norm influences seem to be more dominant suggesting that farmers' perceptions of what referent groups expected of them play an important role. The agricultural technicians seem to have the highest influence. The study showed that Lao farmers are potentially vulnerable to become victims of insecticide misuse as in many Asian countries that implemented rice intensification programmes. Strategic plans in research, education, extension and policies related to pest management and pesticide use need to be developed and implemented in parallel with these programmes. These should include establishing comprehensive pesticide policies, developing extension programmes to educate technicians and farmers on the health hazards and ecological principles related to pesticide use, similar educational programmes for schools and explore for non-face-to-face approaches like radio and television dramas and comic strips that can enhance belief change. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002