Determinants of Herbicide Use in Rice Production Systems of Sri Lanka
Munaweera, T.P. and Jayasinghe, J.A.U.P.
Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Abstract: This study identifies farm-specific and market factors affecting the adoption of herbicides and the level of herbicide use by rice farmers in Sri Lanka. Determinants of adoption and level of herbicide use were explored using a comprehensive data set collected from 240 randomly selected paddy farmers from selected areas in the Anuradhapura, Ampara, Matara and Kurunegala districts. Study employed the cross sectional Double Hurdle model that describe demand decisions on herbicides arising from two hurdles that have to be overcome for positive demand. Household size, farming experience, type of irrigation, training received related to pest control and extent under cultivation were significant determinants of the decision of farmers to adopt herbicide as an alternative to manual weeding, while, age, sex, extent cultivated, farm gate price, tenurial status, type of irrigation and training related to pest control determine the quantity of herbicide use. Findings highlight the complexity of the issue, hence the institutions seeking to avoid the overuse of herbicide or to encourage adoption of alternative methods of weed control are likely to need to use multiple strategies to address the key variables. The insights generated should be of value to agricultural extension officers, researchers and policy makers. These results are potentially relevant when designing policies to reduce excessive herbicide use or to encourage the adoption of alternative weed control methods such as integrated weed management.
Keywords: adoption, Double-Hurdle model, herbicide, rice
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