زمینه :ترویج و آموزش کشاورزی
محل انتشار مقاله :نشریه بین المللی ISI
نام نشریه :Crop Protection
Biological control (BC) through the release of BC agents is regarded as a potential strategy for achieving sustainable pest control and provides a way to substantially reduce pesticide use without sacrificing crop yield. Despite all its potential, understanding attitude and intention to use BC still remains low, especially among smallholder farmers. This study explored the extent to which knowledge of the adverse effects of pesticides and two components of the Health Belief Model (i.e., belief in the efficacy of BC and perceived barriers to BC) are related to: (i) farmers' attitude towards BC as a pest control method and (ii) farmers' intention to use BC in the future as a pest management practice. A random sample of 381 citrus farmers from Sari County in Mazandaran Province of Iran was used. The majority of the farmers (71.1%) had a positive attitude towards BC, while 60.1% agreed that they would use BC in the future as a pest management practice. Farmers were not well aware of the adverse effects of pesticides used in citrus fields, such as pyriproxyfen, buprofezin, and chlorpyrifos. Knowledge of the adverse effects of pesticides was not significantly associated with either dependent variable (i.e., belief in the efficacy of BC and perceived barriers to BC). However, farmers who believed in the efficacy of BC as a pest management method were more likely (P < 0.01) to have a positive attitude towards BC, while those who perceived more barriers to BC use were less likely (P < 0.01) to have a positive attitude towards BC. Findings support that (i) the promotion of the BC effectiveness is a worthy goal for providers of extension services for the promotion of BC adoption and (ii) if the perceived barriers to the adoption of BC are overcome, the rate of BC use among farmers would increase. Overall, extension programs aiming only at increasing awareness and knowledge of pesticide impacts may not succeed in promoting BC adoption. Efforts should target farmers' views of BC, promoting farmers’ belief in the efficacy of BC and lessening perceived barriers to BC use.