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Title: Knowledge diffusion, pesticide related decision-making and the farming community of Northern Sultanate of Oman
Author: Zadjali, Said A. I. Al
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 0650
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2014
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During the last two decades Oman has experienced rapid economic development but this has been accompanied by environmental problems. Although agriculture in Oman is not usually considered a major component of the oil-dominated economy, government policy has been directed towards diversification of national income and as a result there has been an increasing emphasis on revenue from agriculture and an enhancement of production via the use of irrigation, machinery and inputs such as pesticides. In recent years this has been tempered with a range of interventions to encourage more sustainable production. Certain pesticides have been prohibited; there has been a promotion of organic agriculture and an emphasis on education and awareness programs for farmers. The last point is of especial relevance given the nature of the farm labour market in Oman and a reliance on expatriate and frequently untrained labour. The research described here examines the process through which agricultural policy is developed by the upper levels of the government executive within a centralised system, including' support for international agreements and protocols, and the mechanisms by which these policies are intended to be implemented. Using semi-structured interview techniques a group of key informants helped identify the key aspects of, and problems with, government support for agriculture. They provided insights on the current role of agriculture in Omani society and the barriers to future expansion. They also identified a number of problems associated with the current state of the industry, including the nature of the expatriate work force, the profligate use of natural resources and the excessive use of pesticides. They also identified a possible counterbalancing influence in the emerging Farmers' Association. The research also explored the state of knowledge at farm-level regarding the safe use of pesticides and what factors could enhance or indeed operate against the spread and implementation of that knowledge. The effectiveness of the existing extension services in relation to pesticide safety was explored through a detailed survey of current pesticide use, labour awareness of pesticide regulation and transfer of knowledge between farmers. From these results the potential for development of farmer-lead knowledge diffusion models is explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available