Modeling a Cost-Effective IPM Dissemination Strategy for Vegetables and Rice: An Example in South Asia
Harris, Leah M.
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Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technologies have proven to be effective at increasing agricultural productivity and have been credited for providing economic, health, and environmental benefits in many developing countries. In South Asia, population growth and the increasing demand for nutritious foods have put pressure on farmers to produce more food with a relatively inelastic supply of land. Productivity enhancing practices, like IPM, have helped some farmers to meet this demand; however, with over 50 million farmers in Bangladesh and Nepal it is difficult to reach them with information about new agricultural technologies. This study evaluates the current IPM dissemination strategy being implemented by the Bangladesh Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and uses a linear programming (LP) model to propose alternative strategies that may extend the total benefits from IPM technologies. Additionally, using data from a household survey, a bivariate probit model and a two-step endogenous participation model are used to identify factors that may influence both knowledge and adoption of IPM practices in three regions of Nepal. The results from the LP model suggest that more farmers could be effectively reached by reallocating funding that is currently used for interpersonal communications (i.e. extension agent visits and farmer field schools) to more widespread methods such as mass media and field days. The model also suggests that a dynamic dissemination strategy is necessary to encourage adoption of IPM technologies with differing characteristics and levels of complexity. The econometric analysis suggests that farmers with â network linkagesâ to agricultural information and inputs, such as membership in a farmer organization, are more likely to be aware of IPM and to adopt IPM practices. The survey data also suggest that farmers who are members of Marketing Planning Committees (MPC) may be more likely to adopt more IPM practices when compared to non-members. Overall, the study suggests that strategically disseminating IPM information is vital to promote the adoption of these technologies in South Asia.
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