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Mass media campaigns can be effective in promoting safer crop pest and disease control, new study reveals


A new CABI-led study has found that mass media campaigns aimed at changing pesticide use to fight crop pests and diseases are more effective when farmers are exposed to multiple forms of communication.

CABI scientists collaborated with colleagues from the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Department Board (RAB) to study the effects of mass media campaigns on pesticide use among smallholder farmers in Rwanda and Uganda.

They found that campaigns improve farmers' knowledge of pesticide risks and safety measures, boost the adoption of environmentally safer alternatives to synthetic pesticides and increase the use of personal protective equipment.

Dr. Justice Tambo, leader author on the paper which was published in the Journal of Rural Studies, said that the changes in behavior regarding pesticide use are more pronounced when farmers are exposed to multiple information channels.

These mass media channels include interactive radio, plant health rallies, mobile SMS and video screenings.

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