Promoting sustainability: Efficacy and adoption of tobacco-based insecticides in Nigeria
Morse, S. and McNamara, N. (2004) Promoting sustainability: Efficacy and adoption of tobacco-based insecticides in Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 24 (4). pp. 17-38. ISSN 1044-0046
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1300/J064v24n04_04
The promotion of technologies seen to be aiding in the attainment of agricultural sustainability has been Popular amongst Northern-based development donors for many years. One of these, botanical insecticides (e.g., those based on neem, Pyrethrum and tobacco) have been a particular favorite as they are equated with being 'natural' and hence less damaging to human health and the environment. This paper describes the outcome of interactions between one non-government organisation (NGO), the Diocesan Development Services (DDS), based in Kogi State, Nigeria, and a major development donor based in Europe that led to the establishment of a programme designed to promote the Virtues of a tobacco-based insecticide to small-scale farmers. The Tobacco Insecticide Programme (TIP) began in the late 1980s and ended in 200 1, absorbing significant quantities of resource in the process. TIP began with exploratory investigations of efficacy on the DDS seed multiplication farm followed by stages of researcher-managed and farmer-managed on-farm trials. A survey in 2002 assessed adoption of the technology by farmers. While yield benefits from using the insecticide were nearly always positive and statistically significant relative to an untreated control, they were not as good as commercial insecticides. However, adoption of the tobacco insecticide by local farmers was poor. The paper discusses the reasons for poor adoption, including relative benefits in gross margin, and uses the TIP example to explore the differing power relationships that exist between donors, their field partners and farmers. (C) 2004 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.