Impact of Training Bolivian Farmers on Integrated Pest Management and Diffusion of Knowledge to Neighboring Farmers
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Teaching farmers Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Farmer Field Schools (FFS) has led to reduced pesticide use and safer handling. This article evaluates the long term impact of training farmers on IPM and the diffusion of knowledge from trained farmers to neighboring farmers, a subject of importance to justify training costs and to promote a healthy and sustainable agriculture. Training on IPM of farmers took place from 2002 to 2004 in their villages in La Paz County, Bolivia, while dissemination of knowledge from trained farmer to neighboring farmer took place until 2009. To evaluate the impact of the intervention, self-reported knowledge and practice on pesticide handling and IPM among trained farmers (N=23) and their neighboring farmers (N=47) were analyzed in a follow up study and compared in a cross-sectional analysis to a control group of farmers (N=138) introduced in 2009. Variables were analyzed using χ(2)-test test and ANOVA. Trained farmers improved and performed significantly better in all tested variables than their neighboring farmers, although the latter also improved their performance from 2002 t0 2009. Including a control group showed an increasing trend in all variables with the control farmers having the poorest performance and trained farmers the best. The same was seen in an aggregated variable were trained farmers had a mean score of 16.55 (95% CI 15.45-17.65), neighboring farmers a mean score of 11.97 (95% CI 10.56-13.38) and control farmers a mean score of 9.18 (95% CI 8.55-9.80). Controlling for age and living altitude did not change these results. Trained farmers and their neighboring farmers improved and maintained knowledge and practice on IPM and pesticide handling. Diffusion of knowledge from trained farmers might explain the better performance of the neighboring farmers compared to the control farmers. Dissemination of knowledge can contribute to justify the cost and convince donors and governments in low income countries to prioritize farmers training.
|Journal of Agromedicine
|Udgivet - apr. 2016