||Effect of Participatory Research on Farmers' Knowledge and Practice of IPM: The Case of Cotton in Benin
TOGBE CODJO EULOGE ,
HAAGSMA REIN ,
AOUDJI KOSSI NOUNAGNON AUGUSTIN ,
VODOUHE DAVO SIMPLICE ,
||The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension
||ABSTRACT Purpose: This study assesses the effect of participatory research on farmers’ knowledge
and practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Benin. The participatory field experiments
were carried out during the 2011–2012 cotton growing season, and focused on the development
and application of pest management knowledge.
Methodology: A ‘Difference-in-Differences’ methodology was used to document the changes in
farmers’ knowledge and practices across the following season, 2012–2013. Of the 180 cotton
growers sampled, 150 took part in the research, while 30 served as the control.
Findings: Participation in the research increased farmers’ ability to recognise pests and natural
enemies and how to use thresholds and apply bio-pesticides. Increase in knowledge did not lead to
any modification in the farmers’ use of neem oil and the entomopathogen Beauveria, but it did lead
to a significant change in threshold-based pesticide applications. Farmers seemed to want to
reduce pest management costs, whatever the type of pesticide recommended (conventional or biobased).
Implications: Development practitioners should be aware that changes in practices of IPM
are not only knowledge driven. Other factors such as financial consideration and specific input
availability are also needed for the success of an effective pest management strategy.
Originality/Value: In any interactive process, the Difference-in-Differences methodology is an
appropriate tool for an effective assessment of changes in farmers’ knowledge and practices
EY WORDS: Farmer learning, Pest management, Bio-pesticide, Threshold, Natural enemies,
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