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The role of agro-input dealer certification in promoting sustainable pest control: insights from Uganda

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Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Health & Diseases
Justice A. Tamboa, Keith A. Holmesa, Caroline Aliamob, Fredrick Mbuguac, Christine Alokitb,Fred Muzirad, Andrew Byamugishad and Paul Mwambu

Pesticides are crucial for increasing agricultural productivity, but they have also been linked to a range of health and environmental risks. In this paper, we used nationally representative data from 557 agro-dealers in Uganda to assess the role of agro-dealer certification in improving knowledge and practices related to environmentally-friendly pest control. We found that almost half of the sampled agro-dealers were not certified or accredited by regulatory bodies, even though this is a prerequisite for selling pesticides in the country. Results further showed that only 16% of the agro-input shops were selling biopesticide products, largely due to a lack of awareness, access and demand from farmers. Regression results showed that certified agro-dealers were 9–12 percentage points more likely to know about biopesticides and integrated pest management, and 8–10 percentage points more likely to sell biopesticide products, compared to their non-certified counterparts. Our findings imply that agro-dealer certification courses can play an important role in raising knowledge and stimulating the supply of environmentally-benign pest control products. We identified regulatory enforcement, a decentralized certification system and agro-dealer associations as some of the potential pathways for incentivising compliance with certification requirements, thereby promoting lower-risk pest control products and strategies.