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Title: Agrochemical abuse : reasons for pesticide and fertiliser overuse among arable farmers of Guyana
Author: David, Jean Lynette
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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The overuse of agrochemicals by arable crop farmers in Guyana is of increasing concern. But the literature reveals a paucity of information concerning the reasons for farmers‟ persistence of this inappropriate practice. No previous study has been conducted using a structured format to reveal the scope or reasons for farmers‟ sustained overuse of these chemicals. This research adopted an original structured-type approach, suitable for unearthing and explaining the reasons for this phenomenon. The study was theoretically and analytically guided by the theory of practices and critical realist theory respectively, to identify the prevalence, intensity and significant factors of farmer‟s pesticide and fertiliser overuse, but more importantly to elucidate reasons for overuse and formulate relevant recommendations. This investigation utilised a mixed methods strategy of complementary quantitative and qualitative techniques; comprising analysis of data from 229 farm unit surveys and 38 farmer and 19 key informant interviews, respectively. Quantitative analysis, conducted via SPSS software using tables and regression, revealed widespread prevalence of both pesticide and fertiliser overuse among farmers. The overuse consisted of high frequencies and concentrations of the chemicals. The study notes the factors which were significantly associated with overuse including farmers‟ age, education level, area cultivated, land tenure status and the „source-type‟ of information they accessed. However, qualitative analysis, utilising a grounded-theory approach with the aid of NVivo software, demonstrated that unlike the suggestions by other studies, the reasons for farmers‟ overuse were not the single factors which showed statistical significance for overuse practices. On the contrary, this study revealed original findings, which indicated that the reasons for farmers‟ overuse practices were embedded within an intricate network of contingent, support and contextual factors. These explained both the instigation and continuance of agrochemical overuse by farmers. Overall the findings emphasise the need for policy redress, especially regarding the mandate and conduct of farmer-training regarding chemical use, and the regulatory enforcement of appropriate agrochemical use. Understanding the reasons for farmers‟ inappropriate practices revealed new insight into the interpretation of these practices; as consequences of policy deficiency instead of farmer delinquency. Thus, the implications provided to address this problem of farmers‟ agrochemical overuse presented a new orientation to the type of suggestions previously suggested in other studies. The proposals indicated by this study for a targeted resolution of overuse in arable farmers of Guyana are more policy-oriented than farmer-targeted, since this study revealed that farmers‟ overuse behaviour is largely a response to policy-influenced support and contextual factors.
Supervisor: Olsen, Wendy; Bebbington, Anthony Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Agrochemical, overuse, misuse, pesticide, fertilizer, farmer, Guyana, factor, cause