Use of plant clinic advice among farmers in Ethiopia: implications for sustainable pest management service
Published: January, 2021
This study examined the use of crop health advices that farmers received at village-based plant clinics and their determinants in Ethiopia. Data were collected from 210 randomly selected plant clinic users from three districts of Ethiopia, and analysed using descriptive statistics and a binary logistic regression model. Plant clinic users were smallholders with an average landholding of 0.8 ha, predominantly male, with a mean age of 46 years. Most recommendations for pest management were a combination of monitoring, cultural practices and pesticides, in line with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles. About 64% and 34% of the clinic users fully or partially, respectively, applied the recommendations. After visiting plant clinics, farmers demonstrated improved knowledge and practices in using pesticides, although no significant difference was observed between the types of pesticides they used. Stability of plant doctors, distance to plant clinics, and education significantly and positively influenced the use of plant clinic advice, whereas age was negatively associated. The findings suggest that plant clinics provide relevant and practical advice that address plant health problems of farmers. Thus, such project-based intervention should be fully integrated into regular programmes to ensure their sustainability.