International Journal of Pest Management (2007) 53, 35-44

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Kris A.G. Wyckhuys and Robert J. O'Neil (2007)
Role of opinion leadership, social connectedness and information sources in the diffusion of IPM in Honduran subsistence maize agriculture
International Journal of Pest Management 53 (1), 35-44
Abstract: In 2002 - 2003, a survey of 120 small-scale maize farmers was conducted in four hillside communities in SE Honduras to quantify the role of pesticide information sources, local diffusion networks and social connectedness in influencing farmer knowledge and adoption of IPM. In each community, IPM training recipients and opinion leaders were identified and their role in affecting local spread of agro-ecological and pest management information was assessed. Farmers reported various sources of pest management advice, with friends and relatives, outreach agencies and pesticide sellers frequently cited. Information on pesticide alternatives for management of a key maize pest, the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda Smith, was gained mainly through interpersonal communication channels. IPM training recipients were socially well connected and up to 60% of them were consulted by their peers. Farmers connected to training recipients had a better appreciation of arthropod natural enemies and, in certain communities, knew more about pesticide alternatives and natural enemy conservation methods. Information on certain technologies (i.e. manual control, sugar-water application to attract arthropod predators) was shared between farmers, while knowledge of others (i.e. botanical insecticides) was largely restricted to training recipients. In communities that were socially well organized and frequented by outreach agencies, selected information appeared to diffuse beyond trained farmers. Implications for the design of IPM extension packages are discussed.
(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): Kris A.G. Wyckhuys

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


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Spodoptera frugiperda Maize/corn (Zea mays) Honduras