International rice research has found new farming techniques that reduce the need for pesticides. Many South East Asian countries have already enacted these new methods. Nevertheless, overuse of chemicals remains a wide-spread phenomenon because of farmers’ unfounded superstition that they might lose crop if they spray less.
To translate the scientific findings on pesticide reduction into understandable guidelines for farmers’ everyday behaviour. Field experience from communication on health issues like HIV/AIDS has shown that entertainment-education works best in countries where methodical education in science is inadequate. In this case, a radio-based “edu-soap” had the advantage of emotionally implicating a maximum audience. Farmers, who often listen to portable radio sets at work, identify with the characters and can use them as role models.
Since the campaign began in one Mekong delta province in 1994, it has been expanded to the 17 agricultural provinces of Vietnam, reaching 92% of all farmers. Similar campaigns are now in operation in Laos and Thailand. Follow-up surveys found that insecticide use has been reduced by more than half and that the number of farmers who incorrectly believe that spraying increases crop yield has dropped by 70%.
|Title||"No Early Spray"|
|Agency||Professor Escalada, Leyte State University|
|Advertiser||International Rice Research Institute|
|| Agriculture & Fisheries, Production Patterns
|Date of First Publication
|Country of Production||Philippines|
-Council for Agricultural Science and Technology’s Charles A. Black Award , 2003