Targeting particular groups who share similar production practices and problems has proven to be a cost-effective, efficient way to design and disseminate agricultural technologies. The accumulated evidence indicates that where successful, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs have been goal- oriented and targeted. Since one of the primary goals of IPM is to control pests while reducing the use of synthetic pesticides, knowledge of social, economic and institutional factors that influence farm-level decisions to adopt pesticides may suggest different targets and strategies for disseminating IPM. Using a multi-staged sampling procedure, two hundred farmers from two districts in Eastern Uganda were interviewed regarding their socioeconomic background and pest management practices. Regression results indicate the most important predictor of pesticide use was growing tomatoes, followed in order by owning a backpack sprayer, farming in Kumi district, a higher level of education and more contact with extension. These results suggest targeting specific crops and cropping environments associated with high pesticide use for IPM programs. Farmers owning backpack sprayers could be targeted for programs that integrate pesticide safety and information about IPM. Extension agents also need to be provided information about and trained in IPM. Alternative IPM approaches are recommended for farmers who are not using pesticides.


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