Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2017) 37 (67) - Psychosocial barriers and ...

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Aditi Mankad, Barton Loechel and Penelope F. Measham (2017)
Psychosocial barriers and facilitators for area-wide management of fruit fly in southeastern Australia
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 37 (67)
Abstract: Social mechanisms underpinning collaborative approaches to pest management are as important as the biological control of the pest. To facilitate the success of an area-wide management approach, social factors need to be understood and addressed. This study qualitatively analyses social, psychological and institutional barriers and facilitators for the widespread adoption of area-wide management of Queensland fruit fly, and attitudes towards the use of sterile insect technology. Interviews were conducted (N = 35) with fruit growers, industry representatives, agronomists, government representatives and community leaders from across the dominant horticultural regions of southeastern Australia. Transcripts were analysed and compared based on thematic organisations. Growers and stakeholders expressed high acceptance for area-wide management of Queensland fruit fly and the use of sterile insect technology. However, participants reported limited knowledge of both area-wide management and sterile insect technology. Factors found to facilitate acceptance were perceptions of increased market access, increased social awareness, operationalising community champions and value chain actors, as well as dissemination of credible scientific evidence. Trust in those individuals advocating area-wide management and sterile insect technology, and interpersonal trust between neighbours, was also seen as an important factor affecting adoption of area-wide management and sterile insect technology. Barriers to acceptance included perceptions of costs and ongoing funding needs, lack of knowledge, apathy towards control of Queensland fruit fly, compatibility of area-wide management and sterile insect technology with current practices and a lack of social cooperation amongst growers. The data show a need to increase growers' awareness of costs and benefits associated with Queensland fruit fly control and an understanding of the direct and indirect consequences of their own on-farm behaviours with respect to control. This study is the first to use a psychological lens to explore and distil grower and stakeholder attitudes towards a cooperative management approach for a pest of national significance. Results provide insight into beliefs that guide underlying biosecurity decision-making and can help improve uptake of other area-wide control techniques.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Database assignments for author(s): Aditi Mankad

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Bactrocera tryoni Australia (South+SE)