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Pesticide regulation and public health in farming communities: an examination of the impact of pesticide restriction on farmers decision making

World Health Organization

Melissa Pearson Manjula Weerasinghe Ravi Pieris

CONTENT
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List of Figures .......................................................................................................................................... 4 List of Tables ........................................................................................................................................... 5 List of Maps ............................................................................................................................................. 5 List of Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................... 6 Acknowledgment .................................................................................................................................... 7 Executive Summary................................................................................................................................. 8 PART ONE STUDY DESIGN ................................................................................................................... 14 I. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 14 1. Rationale for study ........................................................................................................................ 14 2. Suicide in Sri Lanka ........................................................................................................................ 14 2.1. Epidemiology.......................................................................................................................... 14 2.2. Risk factors ............................................................................................................................. 15 2.3. Suicide prevention ................................................................................................................. 15 3. Agriculture and Pesticides in Sri Lanka ......................................................................................... 16 3.1. Pesticide use in Agriculture .................................................................................................... 16 3.2. Control of Pesticides .............................................................................................................. 17 4. Behaviour Change ......................................................................................................................... 17 4.1. Theoretical underpinnings ..................................................................................................... 17 4.2. Changing farmers behaviour .................................................................................................. 19 4.3. Decision-making ..................................................................................................................... 20 4.4. Modelling farmers behaviour ................................................................................................ 20 4.5 Applications............................................................................................................................. 22 References ........................................................................................................................................ 22 II. STUDY OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................................................ 27 Main Objectives ................................................................................................................................ 27 Specific Objectives ............................................................................................................................ 27 III. METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................................... 28 1. Study Design.................................................................................................................................. 28 2. Study Sites ..................................................................................................................................... 28 3. Data Collection Methods .............................................................................................................. 31 3.1 Mapping .................................................................................................................................. 31 3.2 Individual Interviews ............................................................................................................... 31 3.3 Focus Groups........................................................................................................................... 32 3.3 Pesticide Diaries ...................................................................................................................... 32 3.4 Dealer Interviews .................................................................................................................... 32 1

3.5 Media Analysis ........................................................................................................................ 32 3.6 Key Informant interviews ........................................................................................................ 33 3.7 Baseline Data .......................................................................................................................... 33 4. Data Management and Analysis ................................................................................................... 33 5. Research Ethics ............................................................................................................................. 34 6. Limitations of the Study Design .................................................................................................... 34 PART TWO - RESULTS ............................................................................................................................ 35 IV. FARMER INTERVIEWS ...................................................................................................................... 35 1. Results Farmer Interviews ............................................................................................................ 35 A. Farm General ........................................................................................................................... 35 B. Pesticides .................................................................................................................................. 36 C. Dealers ...................................................................................................................................... 37 D. Banning ..................................................................................................................................... 39 E. Professional Advice ................................................................................................................... 39 F. Views of others.......................................................................................................................... 40 G. Safety ........................................................................................................................................ 41 H. Company Influences ................................................................................................................. 43 I. Poisoning .................................................................................................................................... 44 V. FOCUS GROUPS................................................................................................................................. 46 1. Village mapping exercise; ............................................................................................................. 46 2. Index card exercise / Influences for the pesticides selection; ...................................................... 49 3. Female focus groups discussions; ................................................................................................. 51 VI. KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS ......................................................................................................... 61 VII. DEALERS INTERVIEWS ..................................................................................................................... 73 Profile of the outlet:.......................................................................................................................... 73 Profile of the dealers:........................................................................................................................ 74 Farmer Characteristics ...................................................................................................................... 75 (a). Gender difference:.................................................................................................................. 75 (b). Farmers age: ........................................................................................................................... 75 (c). Crop type:................................................................................................................................ 75 (d). Experience: ............................................................................................................................. 76 (e). Pesticide type: ........................................................................................................................ 76 (f). Farmers Training:.................................................................................................................... 76 (g). Trust: ....................................................................................................................................... 76 Priorities of farmers when buying pesticides ................................................................................... 76 Knowledge of the farmers about colour cording system ................................................................. 77 Impact of IPM for the demand of pesticides .................................................................................... 77 2

Pesticide banning .............................................................................................................................. 78 Impact of banning ............................................................................................................................. 79 Results of dealer interviews .............................................................................................................. 80 Types of Customers....................................................................................................................... 80 Characteristic and features of high risk pesticide buyers ............................................................. 80 Difficulties in identification ........................................................................................................... 81 Differences between male and female desperate buyers ............................................................ 82 Practical difficulties for the dealers .............................................................................................. 82 Strategies of dealers after recognising high risk buyers ............................................................... 83 Community reaction to dealers .................................................................................................... 85 Dealers suggestions regarding support for suicidal people ......................................................... 85 Other suggestions to reduce poisoning ........................................................................................ 85 VIII. MEDIA ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................................ 86 Self harm Articles .......................................................................................................................... 86 Reasons identified for self harm ................................................................................................. 87 Self-harm incident by paper.......................................................................................................... 87 IX. BASELINE DATA FROM HOSPITALS .................................................................................................. 89 Admissions ........................................................................................................................................ 89 Deaths ............................................................................................................................................... 90 Admission to ICU ............................................................................................................................... 91 X. DISCUSSION....................................................................................................................................... 92 A. Behavioural influences on decision making ................................................................................. 92 External influences ........................................................................................................................ 92 Attitudes........................................................................................................................................ 92 Perceived Norms ........................................................................................................................... 93 Perceived Control.......................................................................................................................... 93 Intentions ...................................................................................................................................... 93 Moderators and Resources ........................................................................................................... 94 Drivers of decision making ............................................................................................................ 94 B. Sources on information ................................................................................................................ 96 C. Impact of safety measures ............................................................................................................ 98 XI. AREAS FOR FURTHER ACTION .......................................................................................................... 99 APPENDIX 1: Village Characteristics.................................................................................................... 102 APPENDIX 2 : List of Pesticides ........................................................................................................... 108

List of Figures
Figure 01: Important factors in decision making identified in surveys .................................................. 9 Figure 02: Drivers of decision making identified in surveys ................................................................. 10 Figure 03: Integrated Model (Godin, Sheeran et al. 2005) .................................................................. 20 Figure 04: Data collection method........................................................................................................ 31 Figure 05: Village leaders participation in FGDs .................................................................................. 47 Figure 06: Index Cards arranged in prepared order ............................................................................. 49 Figure 07: Comparison of rankings across the villages ......................................................................... 51 Figure 08: Female Focus Group Discussion in Village 2 ........................................................................ 56 Figure 09: Farmers types described by the field agriculture extension officer .................................... 64 Figure 10: Number of year operating pesticides outlets ...................................................................... 73 Figure 11: Sales items available at outlet ............................................................................................. 73 Figure 12: Dealers pesticides obtaining sources ................................................................................... 74 Figure 13: Pesticides selling experience of respondents (pesticides dealers) ...................................... 75 Figure 14: IPM impact on paddy farmers pesticide demand ............................................................... 77 Figure 15: IPM impact on vegetable farmers pesticide demand ......................................................... 77 Figure 16: Awareness of dealers about recent pesticide banning ........................................................ 78 Figure 17: July & August media articles classification according to themes ........................................ 86 Figure 18: Themes of poisoning articles ............................................................................................... 87 Figure 19: Reasons for self harm .......................................................................................................... 87 Figure 20: Self-harm articles by newspaper ......................................................................................... 88 Figure 21: Hambantota Admissions for Poisoning ................................................................................ 89 Figure 22: Matara Admissions for poisoning Oct 06-Dec 08 ................................................................ 89 Figure 23: Galle Admissions for poisoning ............................................................................................ 90 Figure 24: Total poisoning Deaths; Oct 07 - Dec 08 .............................................................................. 90 Figure 25: Admission to ICU Oct 07- Dec 08 ......................................................................................... 91 Figure 26: Important factors in decision making identified.................................................................. 92 Figure 27: Factors influencing Intention ............................................................................................... 93 Figure 28: Drivers of decision making ................................................................................................... 95

List of Tables
Table 01: WHO Classification of Pesticides ........................................................................................... 16 Table 02: Summary of Behavioural Theories [31-35] ........................................................................... 18 Table 03: List of Key words for media analysis ..................................................................................... 33 Table 04: FGDs by focus and village; ..................................................................................................... 46 Table 05: Ranking of the factors influencing the choice of pesticides ................................................. 50 Table 06: Key informants categories .................................................................................................... 61 Table 07: Pesticides buying process; important observations to identify high risk pesticides buyers. 81

List of Maps
Map 01: Location of study sites [NCP & Hambantota] ......................................................................... 28 Map 02: Location of Study villages in Hambantota District.................................................................. 29 Map 03: Location of study villages in NCP ............................................................................................ 30

List of Abbreviations
ADA AI ARDA DA DRPM DS FAO FFS FGD ICU ID IPM LD MA MOH NCP NGO PeTAC PHI ROP WHO Additional Director of Agriculture Agricultural Inspector Agriculture Research and Development Assistant Department of Agriculture Deputy Residential Project Manager Divisional Secretariat Food and Agricultural Organization Farmer Field School Focus Group Discussion Intensive Care Unit Identity card Integrated Pest Management Lethal Dose Mahaweli Authority Medical Officer of Health North Central Province Non-government Organization Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee Public Health Inspector Registrar of Pesticides World Health Organization

Acknowledgment
The researchers wish to acknowledge and thank all the people who participated in this study and gave their time and experience to ensure the rich understanding of public health issues in their communities. We also wish to acknowledge the support of WHO Sri Lanka, who provided funding of the study. We would like to express our special gratitude to Professors Flemming Konradsen and Andrew Dawson for their guidance and support throughout this study. In addition, we are grateful to Professor Ariyananda at the University of Ruhuna and Dr. Gamini Manuweera, the Registrar of Pesticides, for their comments and continuous support. We extremely thankful, officers at the Department of Agriculture, Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, Department of Health in Hambantota, District Secretariats and GN Officers for their support for the study. We are grateful to the many whose advice and support ensured that this report was completed. In particular, sincere thanks to Nilupa Herath for the project management support and formatting the final report. We are indebted to Fahim Cader, Awanthi Madubashini, Dilani Pinnaduwa and all other SACTRC staff for their administrative support. Special thanks to Vishni Sunderraj for designing cover page and Manjula Rathnaweera for data collection and analysis of media content.

Executive Summary
(This provides a brief summary of the research undertaken and should be read in conjunction with the fuller report highlighted in each section)

Background (Section I)
Suicide in Sri Lanka is one of the leading causes of death and a major public health problem. During the period between 1980 and 1995 Sri Lankas Registrar General routinely recorded suicide incidence rates between 30 40 per 100,000 population [1]. Of all the deaths recorded around 70% were caused by the ingestion of pesticides. In many rural districts of Sri Lanka the most common cause of death is from intentional ingestion of pesticides [2]. Intentional self poisoning with pesticides cause a huge burden on the health system [3] and society. The majority of deliberate self-poisonings are impulsive and occur through easy access to pesticides [4]. Previous bans on pesticides have been enacted following widespread concern about the number of deaths associated with the ingestion of pesticides for self harm. These bans have been found to be associated with a reduction in suicide rates without any resulting reduction in agricultural output [5-7] and mirror previous findings in other countries with regard to means restriction [8]. However, access to lethal pesticides within home environments and communities remains a challenge in devising effective suicide prevention strategies. Intentional poisoning is a problem within the Asian region as a whole, and in other countries restriction and regulation are more challenging responses to the problem. Thus there is interest in finding ways to change farmers purchasing and safety behaviour specifically to encourage the use of pesticides which have a lower human toxicity, as it is not always possible to impose bans.

Aims (Section II)


Recently announced bans that were introduced to prevent access to the most toxic pesticides, provided a context to study the effects and behaviour of farmers, communities, dealers and others to impending changes. The aim was to develop a greater understanding of the individual and community level determinants of pesticide usage and decision-making, to understand the role dealers and the community could play in prevention, and to devise strategies to prevent intentional poisoning that would be acceptable in the community.

Methodology (Section III)


The study took place in three agricultural villages in Hambantota District, Southern Sri Lanka and two agricultural villages in Anuradhapura District in the north Central Province. The study employed a mixed methodology and including in-depth interviews with farmers, focus
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groups, key informant interviews, media analysis, hospital data and semi-structured interviews with pesticide dealers. Transcript data was analysed utilising a content analysis framework and coded with Nvivo 8 software. The study was approved by the Medical Research Ethics Committee of the University of Ruhuna.

Results (Sections IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX)


The main findings from this study indicate that there is a complex set of factors that operate to influence farmer decisions making with regard to pesticide purchasing. Farmers consider a range of factors before deciding what they need to buy (Intention). Some of the factors we found through analysis of the data that influenced their behaviour are shown in Figure 01. Some of the important factors which stand out are trust, absence of concern for safety, the price of the crop, effectiveness and convenience.

Figure 01: Important factors in decision making identified in surveys in Hambantota and Anuradhapura districts

An important finding of the study is that farmers are largely isolated and have limited access to impartial and credible information. In order to mitigate this they often develop a range of strategies. The lack of trust in the sources of information including agricultural officers, media, companies, and other farmers is a key area that needs further attention. The importance of the relationship between the dealer and the farmer is paramount. Dealers provide the most access to information for farmers, although most are aware of the motivation of the dealers to sell and make profit. A complex relationship develops between dealers and farmers and it is often described in terms of trust and distrust. Even though dealers are an important source of information for farmers, they do not perceive that dealers as having a role to play in safety. Dealers are aware of the problems of intentional poisoning in their community and are generally supportive of additional support to ensure that they do not sell to inappropriate customers.
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Collection of the hospital data over the 15 month period has shown that poisoning with pesticides and plants remain a common cause for admission within the Hambantota District. There continues to be high costs to hospitals for admission to the medical ward and ICU. Deaths in hospital have remained stable throughout the period. The low level of concern towards safety in this agricultural district may be influencing the continued deaths from poisoning.

Discussion (Section X)
Overall the most prominent factor that determined pesticide selection for the farmer was price. However the concept of price was more complicated than a simple rationalisation of the specific price of the pesticide. The concept of price and its influence over farmers decision is a complex interplay of various aspects as seen in Figure 02.

Figure 02: Drivers of decision making identified in surveys in Hambantota and Anuradhapura districts.

The three interrelated factors of price shown in Figure 02; price of the pesticide, income a farmer receives from his/her crop and the perceived effectiveness of the product are the key drivers in decision making. The importance of the price that a farmer receives when selling his crop and therefore the income he generates is a powerful influence on decision making. This suggests that where farmers have a guaranteed price for their crop they may be more likely to reduce pesticide use and this mirrors some of the organic farming projects currently going [9].However caution needs to be exercised as higher prices for crops could also mean farmers will increase their use of pesticides. Effectiveness, often described by farmers as strength, also has a powerful influence on the price a farmer is willing to pay for a pesticide. The connection between a farmers perception of the strength and effectiveness of pesticides highlights the need for more information being available to farmers to educate them about toxicity. The sources of information are a crucial element in explaining the difficulties faced by farmers and the strategies that they employ to mitigate their lack of control and empowerment. The flow of information to farmers concerning pesticides and other aspects
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of farming is severely limited. Dealers are the main source of information so consideration of how to provide impartial information through this source needs consideration. The information provided by agriculture officers was generally valued however the cuts to the extension services coupled with the decentralisation of services has led to a reduction in the effectiveness and knowledge held within these services. The relative credibility but underutilisation of the telephone advice service run out of the Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya suggests that farmers still value independent and impartial advice and consideration of how this service could be expanded warrants attention. Some farmers watched the agricultural programs shown late in the evening and those farmers who did watch them generally found them useful and informative and therefore could be expanded. Farmers often talked about have general discussions with other farmers but the extent to which this provided a credible or reliable source of information for the farmer was not completely apparent. Farmers sometimes tried the suggestions of others but we only found a few instances where they relied on others for assistance with farming information. This mirrors the findings in another study of Field farmers school in Southern Sri Lanka [9] which found that there was little transmission of knowledge between neighbouring farmers. Trust has been a central issue in all of the discussions around where people got their information from. In general people interviewed from Hambantota had strong feelings of trust towards and against various groups in the community. All of their relationships appear to be entwined with the issue and most people defined their relationship with someone by the dislike of someone else. In Anuradhapura District this was not so pronounced however it did still operate to a lesser extent. The profile and history of violence in the two areas may be significant in examining the reasons for the more pronounced issues of trust in Hambantota. Like many previous reports on the use of safety measures in farming communities our study showed that there is little concern or interest in safety [10-15]. There was a generalised perception of immunity both physical and social from poisoning which clearly indicates that safety messages, from both health and agriculture, have had little impact on community attitudes. This suggests that storage of pesticides in the home will continue to pose significant safety issues.

Recommendations for further action


The aim was to develop a greater understanding of the individual and community level determinants of pesticide usage and decision-making, to understand the role dealers and the community could play in prevention, and to devise strategies to prevent intentional poisoning or reduce the risk of death from poisoning that would be acceptable in the community. This study has highlighted a number of areas where improvements could be made.

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Lack of information; The lack of reliable and credible information available within farming communities suggests a number of improvements could be made. Recommendation 1 Additional support should be given to agricultural information services especially the telephone service run out of Peradeniya. Awareness of the service could be promoted to extension officers to enhance their opportunities to access information. Recommendation 2 Support for media outlets to provide agricultural information in the evenings for farmers to access. Recommendation 3 Provision of information to farmers regarding the bans and alternatives recommended by the Department of Agriculture. Recommendation 4 Further monitoring of media guidelines to ensure compliance with the code of conduct. Recommendation 5 Continued sentinel monitoring of hospital admissions for poisoning would provide ongoing information about any transition to other poisoning agents. Community Safety; The lack of concern about safety highlights the need to raise community awareness of safety. Recommendation 6 Improved information about toxicity provided on the label. Recommendation 7 Joint training between health and agriculture, for dealers to highlight aspects of suicide and prevention. Recommendation 8 Future health safety programs need to provide rationale for the community of the importance of safety.

Areas for further study


This study of the influence on farmer decision making in pesticide selection and community safety has pointed to other areas for further investigation.

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Assessments of the impact of a trial to reduce the use of pesticides through a price guarantee system. A generalised lack of concern about safety within the home lends support for the storage of pesticides in the field. Future trials of safe storage should include devices in the field and an evaluation of the impact on accessibility to pesticides needs to be undertaken. Accessing pesticides for self harm through dealers remains a problem in the community. A trial of training and safety for dealers which includes identifying high risk buyers and providing effective strategies needs to be assessed further.

References
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. DCS, Social Conditions in Sri Lanka, D.o.C.a. Statistics, Editor. 1995. Eddleston, M., M.H.R. Sheriff, and K. Hawton, Deliberate self harm in Sri Lanka: an overlooked tragedy in the developing world. 1998, Br Med Assoc. p. 133-135. Wickramasinghe, K., et al., Cost to government health-care services of treating acute selfpoisonings in a rural district in Sri Lanka. 2009. Konradsen, F., W. Hoek, and P. Peiris, Reaching for the bottle of pesticidea cry for help. Selfinflicted poisonings in Sri Lanka. Social Science & Medicine, 2006. 62(7): p. 1710-1719. Gunnell, D., et al., The impact of pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2007. Manuweera, G., et al., Do targeted bans of insecticides to prevent deaths from self-poisoning result in reduced agricultural output? Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008. 116(4): p. 492. Roberts, D.M., et al., Influence of pesticide regulation on acute poisoning deaths in Sri Lanka. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2003. 81: p. 789-798. Hawton, K., Restriction of access to methods of suicide as a means of suicide prevention. Prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviour: from science to practice, 2005: p. 279291. Tripp, R., M. Wijeratne, and V. Piyadasa, What should we expect from farmer field schools? A Sri Lanka case study. World Development, 2005. 33(10): p. 1705-1720.

10. Atkin, J. and K.M. Leisinger, Safe and Effective Use of Crop Protection Products in Developing Countries. 2000: London: UK CABI Publishing. 11. Atreya, K., Pesticide use knowledge and practices: A gender differences in Nepal. Environmental Research, 2007. 104(2): p. 305-311. 12. Matthews, G.A., Attitudes and behaviours regarding use of crop protection productsA survey of more than 8500 smallholders in 26 countries. Crop Protection, 2007. 13. Pingali, P.L. and P.A. Roger, Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health and the Rice Environment. 1995: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 14. Sivayoganathan, C., et al., Protective measure use and symptoms among agropesticide applicators in Sri Lanka. Social Science & Medicine, 1995. 40(4): p. 431-436. 15. Yassin, M.M., A. Mourad, and J.M. Safi, Knowledge, attitude, practice, and toxicity symptoms associated with pesticide use among farm workers in the Gaza Strip. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 2002. 59(6): p. 387. 13

PART ONE STUDY DESIGN I. BACKGROUND

1. Rationale for study


Pesticide poisoning is a major public health concern in lower and middle-income countries. It is estimated that there are around 250,000 deaths from pesticide self poisoning worldwide each year [1] and the majority of these occur in the developing world. In Asia the problem is particularly severe as there is a large rural based population with access to highly toxic agrochemicals. In Sri Lanka pesticides continue to be a major cause of admission for deliberate self-poisoning and a heavy burden on the health system [2]. Studies from Sri Lanka and across the region have shown that suicide is often impulsive and accessibility to lethal means contributes to the high rates of death [3-8]. Access to lethal pesticides within home environments and communities remains a challenge in devising effective suicide prevention strategies. Sri Lanka has shown significant progress in reducing the number of deaths through its regulation of the most toxic agrochemicals [9, 10].Recently announced bans, that were introduced to prevent access to the three most lethal agrochemicals provided a context to study the effects and behaviour of farmers, communities, dealers and others to impending changes. The aim of this study was to develop a greater understanding of the individual and community level determinants of pesticide usage and decision-making. There is evidence that price and restriction are not the sole determinants of decision making and a much more complex interplay between internal and external factors influence farmers attitudes and intentions. Concerns about access to pesticides from dealers prior to an attempt have been documented and thus a further aim was to consider how to reduce access to pesticides within the community and particularly sales to high risk individuals prior to an attempt [11]. In addition intentional poisoning is a problem throughout the region, and in other countries where restriction and regulation are more challenging prevention strategies. Thus there was an interest in exploring ways to change farmers purchasing and safety behaviour where it is not always possible to enforce bans.

2. Suicide in Sri Lanka


Suicide in Sri Lanka is one of the leading causes of death and a major public health problem. During the period between 1980 and 1995 Sri Lankas Registrar General routinely recorded suicide incidence rates between 30 40 per 100,000 population [12]. Of all the deaths recorded around 70% were caused by the ingestion of pesticides. In many rural districts of Sri Lanka the most common cause of death is from intentional ingestion of pesticides [13]. 2.1. Epidemiology Sri Lanka gained notoriety in 1995 having one of the highest rates of suicide in the world at approximately 47 per 100,000 [14]. Recent analysis of suicide rates have shown a decline from this peak in 1995 and rates reported in 2005 have shown a decrease to 25 per 100,000 [9]. However a recent psychological autopsy study in three rural districts found an incidence of 71 per 100,000 and

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they accounted for this as either a result of national underestimates or the higher rates in rural areas [15]. The pattern of suicide in Sri Lanka differs from the more studied phenomena in Western countries and mirrors other studies from across the region [8, 16, and 17]. More males than females commit suicide with most studies reporting the male female ratio of around 3-4:1 [18]. Age specific data indicates that the highest rates are for 20-24 year olds for both genders and for males there is a second peak for over 50s, this pattern has been observed over a number of years [19]. One of the most important differences in the patterns of suicide in Sri Lanka and western countries is the method specific issues. Poisoning with pesticides is a leading cause of death accounting for between 60-80% of deaths and while deaths from suicide overall have been falling, there remains a considerable burden due to the intentional ingestion of pesticides [15, 19-21]. 2.2. Risk factors A major risk factor found through a number of studies is the use of alcohol or alcohol as a contributing factor. In a psychological autopsy study in three rural districts alcohol misuse was common among males (61%) and was thought to contribute a further 14% through the impact on others [15]. In a case control study of pesticide poisoning 36% of cases at time of admission were under the influence of alcohol [21]. Data on the mental illness remains limited and polarised. This is partly due to the difficulties in assessing psychiatric morbidity within the context of low resource settings, but studies have also shown wide disparities in rates and interpretations. The under-representation of mental disorders in suicide statistics in Sri Lanka also correlates with studies from China where a combination of severe stress and acute life events were more important predictors of suicidal behaviour [17]. However, recent research undertaken in Sri Lanka does identify important links between socio-demographic and psychological factors in acute poisoning and suicide [5, 7, 13, 15, 18-21]. 2.3. Suicide prevention A recent systematic review of suicide prevention strategies found that the most promising interventions included physician education, means restriction, and gatekeeper education [22]. However within the developing country context the restriction of means is considered by many researchers to be the most important factor in reducing or preventing suicide [23]. One approach to restriction of access is to use regulatory frameworks and enforcement strategies; however regulation is difficult in many low resource settings due to the widespread use and availability of pesticides within rural communities. There has been promising evidence from Sri Lanka that restricting access to pesticides can reduce suicide related deaths [1, 10, 24]. Other strategies to reduce access to pesticides that have been discussed include voluntary guidelines, safe use campaigns, international regulations, changing in farming practices through the use of IPM and biotechnology and the development of a minimum pesticide list [25]. These studies suggest that there is interest in understanding how to influence the behaviour of farmers without regulation. This is particularly important in countries across the region where regulation, and the capacity to enforce the regulations, is more problematic.

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Following the high rate of suicide in Sri Lanka, a Presidential Committee was appointed in 1996 to examine the issue and in 1997 handed down a National Policy and Action Plan for the Prevention of Suicide. This remains one of the few National Suicide Prevention plans within lower and middleincome countries. The six goals of this strategy are: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Reduce easy access to lethal means Promote research on reducing lethality of pesticides in use Educate the public on less harmful use of pesticides Create a culture which discourages suicides Ensure survival after poisoning Remove legal barriers to correct handling of those at risk. [26].

3. Agriculture and Pesticides in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka is predominately an agrarian society that is dominated by four key agricultural industries Rice, Rubber, Coconut and Tea. The relative importance and dominance in the national psyche in support of these industries is pervasive. The vast majority of the population live in farming communities (72%) and 45% of the population are employed in agriculture at subsistence level. The majority of non-plantation farmers are small holders and are primarily cultivating paddy and/or fruits and vegetables. Intensification programs began in Sri Lanka in the 50s and food security is a major concern in Sri Lanka and there is a large investment in the national sustainability of rice [27]. 3.1. Pesticide use in Agriculture Pesticides are widely used in agriculture throughout the world. Pesticide is a generic term which covers a wide variety of chemicals which are mainly used to control pests, diseases of plants or weeds. Pesticides are mainly used for agricultural purposes to protect crops and increase yields but have also been widely used in public health for vector borne disease control [24]. Pesticides have various classification systems however the most widely used is the WHO recommended classification of Pesticide Hazard [28]. This system was devised in response to safety concerns and chemicals are classified as seen in Table 01 below. Table 01: WHO Classification of Pesticides

Class
Ia Ib II III

Classification
Extremely Hazardous Highly Hazardous Moderately Hazardous Slightly Hazardous

During the 1980s pesticides usage became widespread across Sri Lanka. Quantity of imports of pesticides in the 1990s were nearly tenfold greater than during the 70s and the annual sales of

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pesticides throughout the 1990s remained relatively stable. Overuse and misuse of pesticides within farming communities remains a challenge. A study of pesticide use in Vavuniya district showed 3040% higher concentrations than was the recommended level. Pesticide use at the farm level is determined by many factors including farming system, crop, cultivation method, availability of water, size of farm, cosmetic standards of field and produce, and access to credit facilities [29]. 3.2. Control of Pesticides Pesticides in Sri Lanka were initially restricted using import controls but increasing concerns about the widespread use of pesticides warranted the formulation of legislation to specifically address the issues. In 1983 the parliament enacted the Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 1980. This Act regulates the import, formulation, packaging, labelling, storage, sale and use of all pesticides in Sri Lanka. The Registrar of Pesticides is the national authority for implementing the laws and regulations of the Act. The Registrar of Pesticides is guided in policy and technical matters by the Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee (PeTAC). The committee has a legislative function and is constituted by a panel of 15 members with representation of government agencies, agricultural scientists, public health representatives and other appointed observers. The scope of the legislation provides robust coverage through a compulsory registration process for all products available on the market. Restriction in the sales of specific chemicals has been implemented through import bans, packaging advice and reformulation. The Act also authorises the registration of sales outlets, training of dealers and the appointment of authorised officers to monitor and enforce the regulations related to sales and storage of pesticides [30].

4. Behaviour Change
4.1. Theoretical underpinnings There is a multitude of theories of behaviour change influenced by a wide range of philosophical viewpoints and used for a variety of purposes, yet there is no single universally accepted theory. There have been attempts to unify the diverse theories but this has led to either poor predictive value or reduction of essential elements of each theory. At the broadest level there are two groups of variables that influence behaviour, namely: Internal variables (what goes on inside a persons mind) and usually includes values, beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, habits, expectations, value placed on the outcome, self perception, ideal self-perception, personality, intellect and capacity for rational decision making. External variables (the social and physical environment in which a person lives) and usually includes media, advertising, information campaigns, rewards, punishments, social norms and social consequences.

Attempts to change behaviour have been made over centuries, with implicit or explicit reference to the theories from where they are derived. Various interventions have tried to manipulate one or the other of the variables with limited success. The literature emerging now is clear that interventions to change behaviour have a greater chance of success if they combine these two variables. There is a vast range of approaches on the theories of behaviour change and they can be broadly characterized as rational, ecological, individual, interpersonal, community, and consumer. Many of 17

the theories transcend even these categories and there are as many theories not covered by these approaches. Some of the more established behaviour change theories have been summarized in Table 02. Table 02: Summary of Behavioural Theories [31-35]

Theory
Rational Approaches Rational Choice Model

Authors
Herbert, 1955

Characteristics
People assess choice before them in terms of costs and benefits and select the choice that maximises their net benefit. People will be motivated to carry out health preventative behaviours in response to a perceived health threat.

Health Belief model

Rosenstock et. al. 1966

Ecological approach Social Marketing Kotler & Zaltman, 1971 Aim to change the individual, the environment or both. The changed behaviour and environment interact gradually establishing a new social norm.

Individual Approaches Behavioural learning theory Skinner, 1953 Use of the principles of antecedents (internal / external) and consequences (punishment / rewards) and their influence on behaviour. Behaviour change conceptualised as a five step continuum related to the person's readiness to change. People often move back and forth through the stages until behaviour maintenance is achieved. TRA postulates that intentions are the best predictors of behaviour. TPB builds on the earlier work of TRA which identifies attitudes, subjective norms and intentions which combine to predict behaviour.

Stages of change: Transtheoretical model

Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983

Theory of reasoned action / Theory of planned behaviour

Fishbein & Azjen, 1975

Interpersonal behaviour Approaches Social Cognitive Model Bandura, 1950's Behaviour change is a continuous, dynamic relationship between the individual, the environment and behaviour. It has a multifaceted causal structure in the regulation of human motivations, actions and well-being. Key role of social factors and emotions in forming intentions. Behaviour is a function of intention, habit, situational constraints and conditions.

Theory of Interpersonal Triandis, 1977 Behaviour

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Theory
Community Approaches Social Capital theory

Authors
Bourdieu, 1986. Putnam, 1995.

Characteristics
Social capital consists of networks, norms, relationships, values and informal sanctions that shape social interactions. Variations in social capital can help explain differences in behavioural outcomes. Ideas, products and social practices can spread within and between communities and central to the spreading are intermediaries or network hubs that are able to influence others to change behaviour. External forces of needs and opportunities motivate consumption and at the same time opportunity and ability limit consumption. Drivers at societal level set wider context for individual and organisational courses of action.

Diffusion of innovations Rogers & Everett 1995

Consumer Approaches Needs opportunities abilities model Gatersleben & Vlek 1998

4.2. Changing farmers behaviour Interest in how and why farmers act in certain ways and the resulting implication of the possibility of change has been studied in the literature over a long period of time. If we want to know how or why a farmer acts in a certain way or how to induce him to act in a certain way, we have to enquire why men act, and especially why men act as they do when they live in the sort of social environment and general circumstances in which farmers live. [36]. It has been obvious to researchers that farmers behaviour and the decisions they make about a range of issues are a complex interaction between many factors including social, psychological, socio-demographic, values, and intentions, among other things. The interest in changing farmers behaviour in relation to their pest management practices needs to understand the motivations and behavioural influences relevant to these decisions. In many areas of agricultural literature there are studies examining farmers behaviour and human health [37-43] and environmental concerns [42, 44-47] and adoption of new technologies, and integrated pest management and agricultural extension services. There has been considerable attention on reducing pesticides from differing perspectives including IPM, health and environmental concerns with little impact on the overall reduction in pesticide use. Safety precautions are frequently ignored and highly dangerous practices are commonplace. Efforts to encourage safe storage of pesticides have also met with limited success [48, 49]. Many of the studies and projects have focussed on providing education as a means to changing behaviour. Interventions have commonly focussed on the knowledge component of behaviour and neglected other possible variables. Research has consistently shown that education alone often fails to change behaviour in the long term [32]. It is possible that consideration of other factors involved in the behavioural practices of farmers will increase the long-term effectiveness of any interventions that are devised. 19

4.3. Decision-making Six factors have seen to be important to understand farmer decision-making, these include: Socio-demographics Psychological make-up Characteristics of the farm household Structure of the business Wider social milieu Characteristics of the innovation to be adopted. [50].

In order to greater understand farmers decision making in relation to pesticide purchasing an understanding of the above factors will be important. These factors roughly correlate with the behaviour model selected for the study. 4.4. Modelling farmers behaviour A mixed model proposed by Godin (2002) draws on the theoretical underpinnings of several of the individual and interpersonal approaches to behaviour change. This perspective includes elements of the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Social Cognitive theory and the Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour. This model has been successfully applied in a range of studies [51-53]. According to this framework, illustrated in Figure 03, intention is defined by several factors: attitudes, perceived norms, and perceived control. In addition internal and external variables also act as resources and moderators and can influence the behaviour.
Attitudes
Cognitive Advantages Disadvantages Affective Feeling & emotions felt Anticipated regrets

External Variables
Environmental characteristics Individual characteristics

Perceived Norms
Social Norm Normative belief Moral Norm Descriptive norm

INTENTION

BEHAVIOUR

Perceived Control
Perceived self efficacy Facilitating factors RESOURCES AND MODERATORS

Figure 03: Integrated Model (Godin, Sheeran et al. 2005)

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i). Internal Influences Considerable coverage in the literature focuses on the farm characteristics and attitudes towards farming as important influences on farmer behaviour. Farmers own values and their reasons for involvement in farming can have an important impact on their attitudes towards pesticides. These theories draw on behavioural theories and have been particularly applied in conservation studies [54, 55]. The studies have shown that farmers with an interest in stewardship or conservation are more likely to engage in land conservation activities. Similar attitudes may be seen in attitudes towards pesticides that may influence pesticide patterns and usage. Studies of knowledge attitudes, beliefs and practice of farmers in Sri Lanka in relation to vector control, technological innovation, and IPM are still limited in scope [56, 57]. While small successes have been noted in individual projects there has not been a systematic adoption of good practice. The mechanisms that underpin why farmers adopt new ideas are still poorly understood [58]. Further attempts to explore the influences on farmer decisions making in Sri Lanka may help to provide an understanding of how to influence farmer behaviour. There has been a growing interest in the role that trust plays at both an individual and community level. Interest in trust grew out of economic theories that recognised that nearly all transactions require trust and/or truth and the absence of trust reduces the opportunities for mutually beneficial trades [59].These ideas were translated into ideas of social capital in the 1990s and have been used extensively in the development field to understand economic development [60, 61]. It has also been used to understand various aspects within farming communities towards a range of decisions such as conservation, water management, and access to credit [62, 63]. The idea of social trust, trust between individuals , has been seen to be important in solving the collective action problems [63]. Thus the ideas about trust, social cohesion, and collective problem solving are important factors in looking at how farmers operate at an individual and community level. A prominent feature of the literature on farmer decision making especially in natural resource management has been the influence of individual characteristics. Individual traits or personality as expressed by attitudes and perceptions of risks are seen as important concepts in determining the willingness of farmers to engage in a range of behaviours [64]. Another individual factor that may be significant in understanding choices and decisions of farmers is faith. The study areas are primarily Sinhalese and in Hambantota this corresponds to around 99% of the population being Buddhist. The philosophical and ethical dimensions of Buddhism have had a profound effect on individuals and in defining cultural norms within Sri Lanka. ii). External Influences Research into farmer purchasing behaviour has also been undertaken from a marketing perspective for the agrochemical companies. A recent marketing report for an agrochemical company in India cited five main influences on farmers purchasing behaviour, other farmers recommendations, company name, dealer recommendations, trial packs and launch of new chemicals. The report also notes that due to the complexity of products available and safe use requirements, companies need to communicate with farmers to create awareness and knowledge of their products [65]. Dealers are seen as an integral part of the pesticide sales industry however there is relatively little attention paid to their influence in the literature. A recent study showed that a complex system of economic 21

incentives tied farmers into more intensive pesticide use farming [42]. The marketing report noted that 40% of farmers got their knowledge about agriculture from dealers. Media were also noted to be important sources of local agricultural information. The safe use of pesticides has been an important feature of public health campaigns, agriculture extension services and the private sector stewardship campaigns. Many resources have been deployed to raise awareness of protective measures especially in relation to occupational exposure, and some resources have been used to ensure safe storage of pesticides. The focus of much activity has been on raising awareness of safety precautions, however studies have shown that safety messages alone do not have a major impact [66]. In a study of protective measures in Sri Lanka there was an absence of a relationship between awareness of hazards and use of protective measures [67]. 4.5 Applications IPM In agriculture, integrated pest management (IPM) is a pest control strategy that uses an array of techniques for plant protection that discourage pest populations. It brought ecological principles and social scientific perspectives together to improve crop management techniques specifically in relation to pests [68]. There are three basic steps involved inspection, identification and treatment. IPM stresses the involvement of farmers in diagnosing and participating in identifying solutions to pest problems. The implementation of IPM has also been accompanied by a focus on training and participatory community approaches. While it does not explicitly proscribe the use of pesticides, the idea is to manage the pests within the whole system rather than eradicating them. Throughout Asia IPM developed under the guidance of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and was introduced into Sri Lanka in 1995. The FFS aimed to provide training and advice to farmers through a season long commitment to discussions about pest control problems. In this way the experience of the farmer and the adoption of various techniques could be experimented with to provide the best solutions to pest problems for each farmer. An evaluation of the effectiveness of these FFS was undertaken by FAO in 2004 and found that FFS had a dramatic impact on pesticide use (-) and yield (+) in Sri Lanka a study in 2002 showed an 81%reduction in pesticide use and a 23% increase in rice yield [56]. Critics of FFS cite the cost and time lag for implementation of IPM through education and training. There are obvious examples where IPM has been implemented through weak extension services and this has not led to lasting impacts [69]. The issue of sustainability in national IPM programmes has not yet been undertaken.

References
1. Gunnell, D., et al., The global distribution of fatal pesticide self-poisoning: Systematic review. BMC Public Health, 2007. 7(1): p. 357. 2. Wickramasinghe, K., et al., Cost to government health-care services of treating acute selfpoisonings in a rural district in Sri Lanka. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2009. 87: p. 180-185. 3. Eddleston, M., et al., Epidemiology of intentional self-poisoning in rural Sri Lanka. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2005. 187(6): p. 583-584. 22

4. Eddleston, M. and M. Phillips, Self poisoning with pesticides. 2004, BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. p. 42-44. 5. Gunnell, D. and M. Eddleston, Suicide by intentional ingestion of pesticides: a continuing tragedy in developing countries. 2003, IEA. p. 902-909. 6. Konradsen, F., W. Hoek, and P. Peiris, Reaching for the bottle of pesticidea cry for help. Selfinflicted poisonings in Sri Lanka. Social Science & Medicine, 2006. 62(7): p. 1710-1719. 7. Van Der Hoek, W., et al., Pesticide poisoning: A major health problem in Sri Lanka. Social Science & Medicine, 1998. 46(4-5): p. 495-504. 8. Vijayakumar, L., Suicide and mental disorders in Asia. International Review of Psychiatry, 2005. 17(2): p. 109-114. 9. Gunnell, D., et al., The impact of pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2007. 10. Roberts, D.M., et al., Influence of pesticide regulation on acute poisoning deaths in Sri Lanka. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2003. 81: p. 789-798. 11. Fahim M, et al., Pattern of Pesticide Storage before Pesticide Self-Poisoning in Rural Sri Lanka: AProspective Survey, in 7Th Annual Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology Conference. 2008: India. 12. DCS, Social Conditions in Sri Lanka, D.o.C.a. Statistics, Editor. 1995. 13. Eddleston, M., M.H.R. Sheriff, and K. Hawton, Deliberate self harm in Sri Lanka: an overlooked tragedy in the developing world. 1998, Br Med Assoc. p. 133-135. 14. Ratnayeke, L., Suicide and crisis intervention in rural communities in Sri Lanka. Crisis, 1996. 17(4): p. 149-51. 15. Abeyasinghe, R. and D. Gunnell, Psychological autopsy study of suicide in three rural and semirural districts of Sri Lanka. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2008. 43(4): p. 280285. 16. Beautrais, A.L., Suicide in Asia. Crisis, 2006. 27(2): p. 55-7. 17. Phillips, M.R., et al., Risk factors for suicide in China: a national case-control psychological autopsy study. The Lancet, 2002. 360(9347): p. 1728-1736. 18. de Silva, H.J., et al., Suicide in Sri Lanka: points to ponder. CEYLON MEDICAL JOURNAL, 2000. 45(1): p. 17-24. 19. MoH/WHO, National Report on Violence and Health in Sri Lanka, M.o.H.a. Nutrition, Editor. 2008, WHO. 20. Samaraweera, S., et al., Completed Suicide among Sinhalese in Sri Lanka: A Psychological Autopsy Study. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 2008. 38(2): p. 221-228. 21. van der Hoek, W. and F. Konradsen, Risk factors for acute pesticide poisoning in Sri Lanka. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 2005. 10(6): p. 589-596. 22. Mann, J.J., et al., Suicide Prevention Strategies A Systematic Review. JAMA, 2005. 294(16): p. 2064-2074.

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23. Vijayakumar, L., K. Nagaraj, and S. John, Suicide and Suicide Prevention in Developing Countries, Disease Control Priorities Project. 2004, Working Paper. 24. Al-Saleh, I.A., Pesticides: A review article. Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology, 1994. 13(3): p. 151-161. 25. Konradsen, F., et al., Reducing acute poisoning in developing countriesoptions for restricting the availability of pesticides. Toxicology, 2003. 192(2-3): p. 249-261. 26. GoSL, National Policy and Action Plan on Prevention of Suicide, P.C. Papers, Editor. 1997. 27. IRRI. Rice Sector in Sri Lanka. 2008 [cited [[accessed January 2009]]. Available: http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/regionalSites/sriLanka/main_home.html. 28. Copplestone, J., The development of the WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 1988. 66(5): p. 545. 29. Schlosser, T.C., Local Realities and Structural Constraints of Agricultural Health: Pesticide Poisoning of Jamaican Small-holders. 1999. 30. Sumith, J.A., International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides: Sri Lanka Report Submitted at the Regional Workshop. 2005, Office of the Registrar of Pesticides. 31. Darnton, A., et al., Promoting Pro-Environmental Behaviour: Existing Evidence to Inform Better Policy-Making. Defra, London, 2006. 32. Halpern, D., Personal Responsibility and Changing Behaviour the State of Knowledge and Its Implications for Public Policy. 2004: Cabinet Office. 33. Munro, S., et al., A review of health behaviour theories: how useful are these for developing interventions to promote long-term medication adherence for TB and HIV/AIDS? BMC Public Health, 2007. 7(1): p. 104. 34. Rutter, D.R. and L. Quine, Changing health behaviour. 2002: Open University Press Phildelphia. 35. Sexton, M.G., A Review of Behaviour Change Models to Achieve Sustainable Environmental Behaviours. 2007. 36. Ashby, A., Human motives in farming. Welsh Journal of Agriculture, 1926. 2(5). 37. Forget, G., T. Goodman, and A. de Villiers, Impact of Pesticide Use on Health in Developing Countries. Proceedings of a symposium held in Ottawa, Canada, September, 1990: p. 17-20. 38. Huang, J., Acute Pesticide Poisoning in China. Global Information Network on Chemicals 7th Tokyo meeting.< http://www. nihs. go. jp/GINC/meeting/7th/meet-rep. html, 2001. 39. Huang, J., et al., Farm pesticide, rice production and human health. Economy and. 40. Jeyaratnam, J., Acute pesticide poisoning: a major global health problem. World Health Statistics Quarterly, 1990. 43(3): p. 139-144. 41. Pingali, P.L. and P.A. Roger, Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health and the Rice Environment. 1995: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 42. Wilson, C. and C. Tisdell, Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs. Ecological Economics, 2001. 39(3): p. 449-462.

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43. Yassin, M.M., A. Mourad, and J.M. Safi, Knowledge, attitude, practice, and toxicity symptoms associated with pesticide use among farm workers in the Gaza Strip. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 2002. 59(6): p. 387. 44. Barbier, E.B., The economic determinants of land degradation in developing countries. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 1997. 352(1356): p. 891899. 45. Illukpitiya, P. and C. Gopalakrishnan, Decision-making in soil conservation: application of a behavioral model to potato farmers in Sri Lanka. Land Use Policy, 2004. 21(4): p. 321-331. 46. Malla, Y.B., Sustainable use of communal forests in Nepal. Journal of World Forest Resource Management, 1997. 8(1): p. 51-74. 47. Valdivia, C. and J. Gilles, Gender and resource management: Households and groups, strategies and transitions. Agriculture and Human Values, 2001. 18(1): p. 5-9. 48. Weerasinghe, M., et al., Safe storage of pesticides in Sri Lanka - identifying important design features influencing community acceptance and use of safe storage devices. BMC Public Health, 2008. 8: p. 276. 49. Konradsen, F., et al., Community uptake of safe storage boxes to reduce self-poisoning from pesticides in rural Sri Lanka. BMC Public Health, 2007. 7: p. 13. 50. Edwards-Jones, G., Modelling farmer decision-making: concepts, progress and challenges. Animal Science, 2007. 82(06): p. 783-790. 51. Godin, G., et al., Correctional Officers' Intention Of Accepting Or Refusing To Make HIV Preventive Tools Accessible To Inmates. AIDS Education and Prevention, 2001. 13(5): p. 462-473. 52. Godin, G., et al., Factors explaining the intention to give blood among the general population. Vox Sanguinis, 2005. 89(3): p. 140-149. 53. Lgar, F., et al., Adherence to Hormone Replacement Therapy: A Longitudinal Study Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Psychology & Health, 2003. 18(3): p. 351-371. 54. Farmar-Bowers, Q. and R. Lane, Understanding farmers' strategic decision-making processes and the implications for biodiversity conservation policy. Journal of Environmental Management, 2008. 55. Maybery, D., L. Crase, and C. Gullifer, Categorising farming values as economic, conservation and lifestyle. Journal of Economic Psychology, 2005. 26(1): p. 59-72. 56. Van den Berg, H., H. Senerath, and L. Amarasinghe, Participatory IPM in Sri Lanka: A Broad-Scale and an In-Depth Impact Analysis. 2002, Report prepared for the FAO Programme for Community IPM in Asia. Wageningen, The Netherlands. 57. Van den Berg, H., et al., Reducing vector-borne disease by empowering farmers in integrated vector management. BULLETIN-WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 2007. 85(7): p. 561. 58. Feder, G., R. Just, and D. Zilberman, Adoption of agricultural innovations in developing countries: A survey. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 1985: p. 255-298. 59. Arrow, K., Gifts and exchanges. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 1972: p. 343-362.

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60. Coleman, J., Social capital in the creation of human capital. American journal of sociology, 1988. 94(S1): p. 95. 61. Putnam, R., Tuning in, tuning out: the strange disappearance of social capital in America. PS: Political Science and Politics, 1995: p. 664-683. 62. Woolcock, M. and D. Narayan, Social capital: implications for development theory, research, and policy. The world bank research observer, 2000. 15(2): p. 225-249. 63. Dowla, A., In credit we trust: Building social capital by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Journal of Socio-economics, 2006. 35(1): p. 102-122. 64. Bryan, B., J. Ward, and N. Crossman, Modelling Farmer Decision Making for Natural Resource Management Outcomes. 65. Sahney, S. and A. Shrivastava, Developing a market strategy for a leading agrochemical company: A case study on adoption of agrochemicals by the vegetable growers in Chattisgarh. 2008. 66. Atkin, J. and K.M. Leisinger, Safe and Effective Use of Crop Protection Products in Developing Countries. 2000: London: UK CABI Publishing. 67. Sivayoganathan, C., et al., Protective measure use and symptoms among agropesticide applicators in Sri Lanka. Social Science & Medicine, 1995. 40(4): p. 431-436. 68. FAO. Sustainable Agriculture through IPM. 1994. Manilla. 69. Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, G.W.N.J.A.M.M.G.F., Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Integrated Pest Management Extension Methods: An Example from Bangladesh. Review of Agricultural Economics, 2008. 30(2): p. 252-269.

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II.

STUDY OBJECTIVES

Main Objectives
The aim of the research is to develop a greater understanding of the individual and community level determinants of pesticide usage and decision making. Through this exploration of the influences on farmers decisions in relation pesticides we hoped to understand the role dealers, farmers and the broader community could take in relation to prevention. This greater understanding of the factors operating for individuals and within the community would also assist in devising effective strategies for the prevention of suicide.

Specific Objectives
The specific objectives include: Examination of farmers decision making processes for replacement of products with an impending ban (Paraquat, Fenthion and Dimethoate) Examination of role of retailers in shaping farmer behaviour Examination of sources of information available to farmers and their influence on decision making Exploration of the perception of safety and poisoning Exploration of possible community prevention activities Monitoring of patterns of poisoning in General Hospitals

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III.

METHODOLOGY

1. Study Design
The study employed a mixed methods design and data was triangulated to ensure a wide range of information from different sources to better understand farmers behaviour in relation to pesticide purchasing decisions.

2. Study Sites
The study was conducted in Hambantota and Anuradhapura districts in order to ensure that the results could be generalized beyond the primary study site. Three villages in Hambantota were selected from previous research indicating some geographical clustering of self-poisoning [1]. Villages in Hambantota were also selected to explore variations in crop patterns, distance to market and dealers, access to irrigation, land ownership, and resettlement patterns. Villages in Anuradhapura were selected with similar cropping patterns and differed from the Southern sites in relation to the access to and density of dealers. Below is a summary of the villages selected for a more detailed breakdown of the villages see; APPENDIX 1: Village Characteristics.

Map 01: Location of study sites [NCP & Hambantota] 28

Study villages in Hambantota:

Map 02: Location of Study villages in Hambantota District Village 1: Barawakumbuka Irrigation settlement on the Ratnapura Nonagama Rd famous for its banana market. Total population of 2,156 mainly employed in agriculture on small farms of about 1-2 acres. Crops are predominantly paddy, banana and vegetables. There is a main market which most farmers use for their needs.

Village 2: Watiya Ancient irrigation settlement on the Ratnapura Nonagama Rd about 4 kms south of Barawakumbuka. Total population of 1,098 mainly employed in agriculture although most land owned by village elders. Crops are predominantly paddy, banana and vegetables. Farmers use the Barawakumbuka market for their needs.

Village 3: Gal Wewa Small ancient irrigation settlement away from the main road equidistant to Embilipitya or Angunukolapalassa . Total population of 160 mainly employed in agriculture although land holdings vary markedly in this settlement with the majority of land under Temple rights. Crops are predominantly paddy, with smaller banana, cocnut, fruit and vegetables. This village is reasonably isolated and travel to main centres takes about 1hrs by bus.

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Study villages in North Central Province:

Map 03: Location of study villages in NCP Village 4 Tract 13 Rajangana Irrigation settlement away from the main road between Thambuttegama and Anuradhapura . Total population of 2530 mainly employed in agriculture although land holdings now vary markedly in this settlement. Crops are predominantly paddy, with smaller plots for vegetables. This village is reasonably isolated and travel to main centres takes between 1-2hrs by bus. Most families use a range of small local stores to buy their daily requirements.

Village 5:Tract 5 Rajangana Irrigation settlement away from the main road between Thambuttegama and Anuradhapura . Total population of 2,747 mainly employed in agriculture although more people employed in slalried jobs than other villages. Crops are predominantly paddy 80%, with smaller plots for fruit and vegetables. This village is more accessible to Thambuttegama and most families use the markets there to buy their daily requirements.

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3. Data Collection Methods


Farmers Mapping Dealers Questionnaire Pt 1 Structured In-depth Interviews Pt2 Open ended Interviews Key Informants Media Analysis Hospital Data Baseline data

Focus Groups

Diaries

Figure 04: Data collection method 3.1 Mapping Once villages were selected an initial meeting was held in each site and a participatory mapping exercise was conducted. The researchers undertook transects walks throughout the village and fields with community informants and maps were made of important geographic and community features. Transect walks are a tool for gathering community data by drawing a line from the centre of a village to the limits through the community. The line or lines, which may not be straight, go through the different zones of the community in order to create a representative view of the village. 3.2 Individual Interviews Semi structured interviews were then conducted with farmers individually or within informal groups. Participants were selected based on their residence within the study area and their willingness to participate. The main location for interviews was within the home, although some were conducted ad hoc in the field. Interviews were conducted in local language by local researchers. Recording, where consent was given, was done by audiotape to enable accurate transcription of responses and opinions. Confidentiality for all participants was maintained as their personal details were never recorded only location was coded and mapped centrally. The interviews were conducted using a question frame based on behavioural theories outline in Table 02: Summary of Behavioural Theories [31-35]in Section 1 of the report, and pilot work with the questionnaire to ensure a full range of data was collected in relation to the behavioural attributes noted [2]. This included questions related to external variables, attitudes, perceived norms, perceived control, intentions and resources and moderators. Socio-economic data was also collected for each participant.

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3.3 Focus Groups The focus group used a semi-structured format to discuss influences on pesticide selection. The researchers conducted the focus groups with a range of participants from each village. The groups were intended to have a maximum of 10 people however it was not always possible to contain the numbers as people joined informally throughout the sessions. Participant selection was decided through their appropriateness to the topic which was to be explored. An iterative process was used to decide the theme of the following focus groups. In weekly discussions emerging themes were highlighted and ideas not fully explored identified and these formed the themes for the following focus groups. For example the conduct of focus groups with women participants was felt necessary to understand more fully their role in pesticide storage, management, purchasing and decisionmaking. An index card format was also employed to identify within groups what was considered the most important influences on pesticide selection. Discussions were conducted in local language by local researchers. Confidentiality for all participants was maintained as their personal details were never recorded only location was coded and mapped centrally. Recording was undertaken by audiotape and observer notes and participants were asked to consent to recording at the beginning of the session. A discussion was held between the researchers after each focus group was also undertaken to debrief and then a further discussion was held within a week to discuss conduct of the group and outcomes. Socio-demographic data was collected on each participant. 3.3 Pesticide Diaries A sample of 23 farmers was selected to be followed up throughout the cultivation season to explore their decision-making and choices around pest control and farming. Participants were given a diary to record pesticide purchases and then interviews were conducted to discuss the reasons and motivations for the selection of pesticides and where they chose to buy pesticides. 3.4 Dealer Interviews All dealers and outlets selling pesticides, both registered and unregistered, within the selected villages were approached to participate in the research. 26 participants agreed to be interviewed and they were administered a questionnaire in two parts. The first part was a structured questionnaire (see appendix) that focused on description of the outlet, customer behaviour, and the recent bans. The second part was a semi-structured questionnaire with a range of open-ended questions to elicit stories of dealers response to high-risk buyers (people who may be purchasing with the intention of self harm). 3.5 Media Analysis An analysis of media throughout a two-month period, between 1 June 2008 and 31 July 2008, was conducted to ascertain if there was information concerning the recent bans available to the public. 4 Newspapers were selected including 1 English language daily (Daily News) and 3 Singhalese language dailies (Lankadeepa, Divaena, and Dinamina). A total of 221 articles were selected from a list of key words (see Table 03).

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Table 03: List of Key words for media analysis

Key words:
Pesticides / agro-chemicals / poison Herbicides / weedicides / insecticides Integrated pest Management (IPM) Pesticides poisoning / self-poisoning Paraquat Dimethoate Fenthion 3.6 Key Informant interviews Interviews with key informants included agricultural officials, extension officers, researchers, IPM officers, Medical officers, Grama Niladhari officials (lowest level of government administration), company representatives and NGO officers. Interviews were conducted using an unstructured format to elicit the participants knowledge of farming behaviour, suicide and/or the recent bans. 3.7 Baseline Data Baseline data from the General Hospitals in Hambantota, Matara and Galle was collected by medically qualified research assistants to determine the rates of admission for poisoning over a fifteen-month period. Data was collected retrospectively from the admission books and prospectively from Bed Head Tickets. The data recording form is attached.

4. Data Management and Analysis


The qualitative data that was collected were summarized daily and a weekly meeting was held to discuss findings and plan further interview strategies. The data collection underwent an iterative process to ensure a wide range of views was gathered and that all concepts raised were sufficiently explored. The audio data from interviews and focus groups was translated and transcribed and stored in word files, coded for each participant. After transcription the data was analysed using content analysis by the researchers (MP, RP and MW) and other researchers not directly involved with the fieldwork part of the study reviewed the emerging themes (FK/AD). The data was coded using Nvivo 8 software and checked for inter-rater reliability. The results were presented to the interviewers and checked for validity and consistency. One additional researcher (FK) moderated any changes to the thematic framework. The media reports were analysed using content analysis. Initial results from the data were presented to the researchers and ideas gathered for further analysis. Media reports were also analysed according to media guidelines for reporting of suicide and self-harm.

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5. Research Ethics
All research procedures involving human subjects carried out in this research project were conducted according to international research ethics standards. The study protocol, including the process of consent, was reviewed and approved by the University of Ruhunu Medical Research Ethics Committee. In addition, consent for the research was given by Department of Agriculture. Informed consent was obtained from all persons interviewed including permission to audiotape and transcribe.

6. Limitations of the Study Design


The aim of this research was to develop a greater understanding of the factors influencing farmer decision making and therefore was exploratory in nature. The limitations of such a study is in its inability to provide a causal relationship. The exploratory nature does however provide a greater understanding of many of the factors which operate at an individual and community level which have impacts on the effectiveness of a range of interventions. This study was further limited by the focus on pesticides as a means of self harm. The decision to limit the focus as pesticides remain the most important cause of death from suicide in Sri Lanka and regional needs for exploring other methods for reducing access to highly toxic substances. Sri Lanka has shown it is possible to regulate pesticides to reduce deaths however within the region this may not be a feasible or practical solution. Therefore more studies are needed to consider other interventions to change pesticide accessibility. 1. 2. Manuel, C., et al., Self-poisoning in rural Sri Lanka: small-area variations in incidence. BMC Public Health, 2008. 8: p. 26. Godin, G., et al., Factors explaining the intention to give blood among the general population. Vox Sanguinis, 2005. 89(3): p. 140-149.

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PART TWO - RESULTS IV. FARMER INTERVIEWS

1. Results Farmer Interviews


The farmer interviews were based on a question frame related to the behavioural model outlined in the literature review. It consisted of nine sections which included: A. Farm general B. Pesticides C. Dealers D. Banning E. Advice from Professionals F. Influence of others G. Safety H. Company Influences
I. Poisoning

A. Farm General There were several aspects discussed in terms of their general farming characteristics. Farm size Some farms are very small and just for consumption up to very large farming areas. The smaller farms tended to be older people who were just subsistence farmers. The larger farms were not always the more profitable farms as there was a mix of lease and owned fields. Farmer type There were a range of farmer types that could be seen. Some farmers were innovative and took risks in an attempt to gain greater profit from either trying new varieties or choosing risky crops. Other farmers were keener to avoid risk as they were very concerned about making enough to survive each season. Some farmers were more traditional and practised chena cultivation. Some farmers were part time or intermittent farmers and so were not solely reliant on farming for income. Length in farming There was a range of amount of time involved in farming some people having been involved since before settlement in the late 70's and other farmers who this was their first cropping season. Reasons for crop selection There was a variety of reason given for crop selection including potential profit, experience of growing the particular crop, perceived ease or difficulty of growing, convenience and availability of water. Price of the crop was the most significant factor to which was considered by the farmer, even though some took more risks than others. The consideration of profit from the crop was often related to the perceived inputs needed into the crops (pesticides, fertilisers, spraying, harvesting, and labour). 35

Partnerships Partnerships were a strong feature of farming in Hambantota and less so in the North Central Province. People generally had mixed views of joint farming, some people felt that there could be a greater profit if you joint farmed. However many people were worried about the implications of joint farming in creating disputes. The potential other farmer had an important influence on the decision whether to joint farm or not. Partnerships were generally joint efforts of land, expenses and profits although some joint farms were with a landlord or with family members. Crop pattern Many farmers rotated crops in order to preserve the quality of the land. Some farmers did this actively each season where others did this over an extended period of time. Many of the farmers grew a variety of crops to spread the risk of farming just one product. However paddy remains the most important crop because of the status of growing paddy. B. Pesticides Most farmers felt that they were reliant on using pesticides to maintain their crop and produce income from that crop. There were many farmers stating that this was essential for farming in modern times. In general pesticides was used less in paddy farming and this may be linked to farmer field schools which previously operated in the area. Most farmers felt they could wait with paddy until the disease became apparent before deciding which pesticide to apply. However among vegetable farmers there was a widely held view that it was essential to apply pesticides from the beginning regardless of the presence of any disease or pest. Farmers generally are trying to use the strongest pesticide when choosing which pesticide to apply but they moderate this will concern for younger plants. There were some farmers who were interested to apply as least pesticides as possible and mostly through exposure to IPM methodologies, even if they were not aware of this. Some farmers felt a moral obligation to not kill things and tried to farm as close to their principles as possible. Some farmers discussed having to regularly change their pesticide selection as pest became immune to the pesticides. For some farmers this was done each season as a preventative measure for others this was done when they were unsuccessful with the last application. Many farmers discussed mixing things together and apply several pesticides and fertilisers in one spraying. Many farmers also add sugar when spraying for flies to attract the flies and increase the effectiveness. This is a local method which many of the farmers employ and local knowledge seems to pass this information around. There was one farmer who described the mixing of pesticides with a gum/resin to get it to stick to the plants. Most farmers apply different pesticides according to the time of cultivation, the disease/pest that is present and the weather. However there were some farmers who sprayed regardless of whether they had evidence of pest and sprayed to ensure the pest never came. Generally vegetable farmers were likely to be spraying every few days whereas paddy and banana farmers sprayed less often and less regularly.

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Question : Then what about the vegetables? Farmer : Vegetables of course, you cant do without spraying pesticides Sir. Even for those you dont really need very strong ones. Mostly what they do is using stronger ones to kill the worm tomorrow, which attacks today. We use 3-4 types of pesticides to keep those away. Question : Which means you mix the pesticides? Farmer : Yes we mix them and make it stronger. Buying - intentions There is a complicated pattern of buying that emerges from farmers. Many of them rely on factors such as convenience, trust in the dealer, range of products available, strength, price, and effectiveness. However when discussing with farmers their overall strategy for their crops income is a primary motivating factor that differs but is linked to the price of pesticides. Inputs are a big cost to the farmer and they are very conscious of the price paid for pesticides, which is the area where they often feel they can change according to their practice, as opposed to more fixed costs associated with labour or transport. Each farmer has a slightly different attitude towards this dilemma, for some they employ a strategy that either waits for disease, sprays preventatively, or grows a variety of crops to spread risk. Whereas others do not have a fixed strategy and are more reliant for decision making on the availability of cash or credit. Often farmers described having to buy an inferior product as they didn't have the money to buy what they needed. The final outcome related to income from the crop is the most influential factor motivating farmers rather than the price of inputs. Habit / experience There were two different types of farmer responses to how much they relied on the use of regular products. For all farmers they generally had one or two products that they bought every time they needed that specific pesticide. However it was mostly related to positive outcomes previously with the product and some farmer showed good loyalty to products which they trusted and relied on. However there were also other farmers who through experience felt it was necessary to change regularly or every season to ensure that they didn't get resistance. Several farmers did not actively participate in decisions about pesticides and relied solely on the advice of a dealer. One particular farmer was not even aware of any names of pesticides. Source of information The primary source of information for new pesticides was the dealer although farmers did also state they talked with other farmers and consulted agricultural officers at times. The practice of changing additives and therefore colour or smell of the products makes farmers suspicious of the company and products. C. Dealers Between half and 3/4 of a farmers income goes on inputs and mostly pesticides. Therefore it is very important to the farmer to get the right dealer who provides good advice, good price, flexibility and loyalty. Many farmers made note of their own experience as helpful in moderating dealers

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information and one farmer noted the lack of unity as a loss to farmer knowledge. Potential to harness farmer knowledge would help uninformed farmers. Trust - some farmers trust the dealer for suggestions of pesticides yet others are suspicious of all dealers suggestions. Trust appears to be linked to perceived knowledge of dealer, whether they have agriculture background or experience in farming. Suspicion of dealers also linked to trust of their own preferred dealer. Farmers note that each dealer will give different suggestion/recommendation and this is linked to a dealer's loyalty to companies, commission, and the values of the dealer. Some farmers were tied to dealerships due to bank loans. Relationship is complex and trust established in a number of ways. There are mutual benefits between dealer and farmer. If a dealer gives a farmer things on credit the farmer will reciprocate by giving him more business. Thus the two are tied together to make better profits for both. There is some recognition and suspicion of dealers motives. Some see them being motivated only by sales and therefore recommend the most expensive product or the product with the highest commission. The complex nature of sales price, commission, and discount make it very opaque for farmers to know why they are being recommended certain products. This lead to a general suspicion about dealers and farmers feel they need to cultivate loyalty in their dealer to ensure they get the best advice or price. A more transparent system could assist farmers to make more informed choices. When there is a recommendation most farmers go back to the same dealer. Some farmers then modify their behaviour by consulting more widely with other farmers or with other dealers. There were examples of dealers representing concerns directly to the company and one instance of a farmer receiving compensation with seeds for a bad pesticide. Farmers ask both for pesticides and for pests. They seem to use what they know more readily for weedicides but when a new disease or problem comes they seek advice by taking a sample to the shops or discussing the disease with the dealer. Very few farmers cite getting advice about pesticides from others. Price seems the most important motivator but it is not as simple as price alone. Many other factors are also linked together to make price control not so elastic. This may explain previous studies where price didn't predict behaviour fully. Links for decision making price and credit - price may be a little higher but still use if credit available distance then price - closer may be more expensive but cheaper if no bus time then price - time to get to cheaper dealer needs to consider time away from fields quantity and price - uses local dealer if small amount, travel to cheaper place if large amount cash and price (credit and discount) - use cash when can to get cheaper price but use credit when no cash distance and knowledge - uses local dealers for regular supplies goes further away for specialist advice when problem pest effectiveness and price - most effective for cheapest price convenience, distance and price- considers all three dealer and credit - firstly needs to be a credible dealer then needs to also offer credit 38

D. Banning Important aspects of banning are the source of the information- mainly from shops and through non availability, some through other farmers and rarely through government sources. Many farmers were not aware of the impending bans and most had only heard rumours. Lack of information and misinformation is common and prevalent feature. The result of the banning did show that some people started to stock up. Strength of a pesticide very important and evidence of people mixing was common. Behaviour was generally influenced by price availability and strength. Effectiveness was definitely important but that this had some important links to price. i.e. they would buy the most effective at the lowest price first, and then move to more effective ones which had higher prices. Attitudes towards the banning were generally neutral. Farmers could see the value in banning if it helped human health, animal health, environmental health etc. However it was very common to have a rider on that there needed to be an alternative suggested. Mostly people were reliant on the dealer to suggest the alternative. ?? Need for bans to include recommendations. Some farmers were against the bans but had not done anything about it and generally most responses were passive about banning.

E. Professional Advice Confidence about own knowledge There is a range of levels of confidence about their own knowledge of pest problems and therefore their confidence in being able to deal with most problems with their crops. The majority of the farmers linked their confidence to their experience as a farmer and recalled earlier times where they relied on others for information. Sources of information for new diseases If farmers encounter a new problem with their crop they go to a range of sources for information including the dealer, other farmers, family members, agricultural officers, Mahaweli officers, research institutes, 1920 service, TV programs, and journals. Some farmers experiment with different strategies in order to develop a theory about the problem. They often utilise more than one source of information in an attempt to cross check their ideas. Some people felt that the agricultural officers could provide useful information but they were not always available and therefore the farmer had to move to other sources because the problem was immediate. Many farmers felt that companies and dealers were dishonest. One farmer believed that the companies sent new disease with the pesticides to make farmers buy more pesticides. Relationships with sources of information The relationship with the source of information appears a crucial factor in deciding how much the information is used or trusted. Some farmers are well connected to their dealer or agricultural office 39

and become reliant on this relationship to provide the necessary advice about new problems they encounter. Former irrigation chairman or farmer organisation presidents in general had very good contacts within the Mahaweli officers. Trustworthiness of information The trustworthiness of the information that they receive is not always linked to the previous reliability of the advice given. Some farmers admitted that the advice that they got was not correct but still they continue to seek that advice from a particular source. However some farmers became skeptical about advice from each of the sources and could give examples of where they felt that there was dishonesty generally related to profit or soft corruption. Availability of training Many farmers acknowledged that there was training that had been made available at various times but very few had attended these training for a variety of reason. Many farmers did not feel these were very useful but at times participated to maintain relations with the trainers and therefore keep in favour in case anything became available. F. Views of others In general farmers were keen to accentuate that they were not the only person who thought or did this. They generally thought that they all did similar things. Use of pesticides Many farmers thought that they used exactly the same pesticides as others. They often felt that these were the general ones which everyone used. Other people were not sure what other people used as they didn't discuss it or thought that farmers did what was best for their crops. People generally thought that the main factor influencing decisions about pesticides relied on their own experience and habit. If people did use other farmers for advice they generally sought out a knowledgeable farmer for that particular crop. Banning Not many farmers knew what others thought about the banning which probably indicates that there was not particularly strong feeling for or against. The general ambivalence towards banning is probably reflected in this. Consultation with other farmers Many farmers talked about general discussions they had in the market or with neighbours etc. However this general discussion had mixed influence on their decisions to try a new product or not. Some farmers felt this was very useful to have other farmers views but others felt that they could not trust what other said. For the farmers who did trust the others they mostly also talked about checking with dealers or trying first before using. This suggests that they did not trust completely the information.

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There was widespread evidence of people removing labels, spying on other farmers, listening to others conversations and generally acting distrustfully. Many farmers cited themselves as people who others relied on for information. Ironically these farmers usually did not listen to others advice. Consultation with family Most farmers did not consult their family unless they were in cultivation with them. There were a few examples of where husband and wife jointly made decisions. Mostly this was based on their perceived knowledge of farming.

G. Safety There are several aspects to safety. Leftovers Many people hide their pesticides in the field for a variety of reasons but convenience is the principal factor. Keeping the leftovers away from the home was another reason frequently cited. One of the dangers of doing this was that the label would get damaged and then it would be difficult to tell which pesticide it was. Some farmers took measures to ensure this did not happen but others intentionally removed labels so others would not know which pesticide they were using. One farmer noted that if he got angry and wanted to drink pesticides he would just go to the field and use leftovers. Many people continue to store pesticides in the home mostly as a protection against theft in the community. One farmer had up to 300 bottles stored in his home. The majority of farmers had no specific locking facilities for the pesticides and often referred to there being no problems in their house. Two farmers were aware of lockable storage devices for pesticides but there was only evidence of one person using it. This farmer had also purchased an additional box to store larger bottles of pesticides. The main reason for any safety measures in the home were related to the safety of children. Storing pesticides in high places or outside rooms was common. Many farmers felt that their storage was adequate to prevent poisoning; one farmer considered he had adequate safety measure to prevent poisoning because he stored them in a cardboard box under the table. Mostly the women took responsibility for this but in general the safety measures were not adequate to prevent poisoning of children or high risk individuals. Safety Measures when applying In general there was only limited used of accepted safety measure for spraying. There was not a single farmer who used all the recommended safety measures. The majority of farmers used safety measures when applying particularly toxic formulations and this was done generally after bad experiences with chemical. The most common safety measure employed was covering mouth and nose generally with a cloth and not usually with a mask and spraying in the direction of the wind to reduce the return spray. Although one farmer said that even with spraying according to the wind this 41

did not always work as the wind was often swirling and therefore they expected to get covered to some extent. There were a variety of reason given for non-use of safety measure including convenience, practicality and non availability. Although farmers often said the masks and gloves were not available but rarely went to source these items. There was much rationalisation of not using safety measures and the most commonly cited reason was that they had no ill effects yet so there wasn't a need to do anything. Women in general appeared to be unhappy with their husbands safety practices and many reminded their husbands to use safety equipment each time they sprayed. However while there was concern voiced there was not active measures taken to ensure safety. Some farmers employed sprayers to apply their pesticide as it was faster and safer. The sprayers in general wore more protective clothing but one farmer recounted the story of a sprayer who was not wearing footwear and had cuts on his feet. Following the spraying the sprayer had blood oozing from his feet. Dangerous practices Some of the practices mentioned by farmers include:

reusing empty bottles for other things refilling empty bottles with diluted pesticides mixing multiple pesticides to make them stronger adding kerosene and other things to make them stronger mixing with hands smelling tasting eating following spraying without bathing

Source of Information Many farmers got their information about safety measures from the dealer. Several farmers noted that the dealer would alert them if the pesticide was very strong. The advice from dealers would not always comply with accepted safety standards. For example one dealer recommended using socks to cover their hands when applying however the farmer reported that the socks simply disintegrated. Other examples include dealers advising the use of mixtures. Farmers got their information about the toxicity of pesticides from a range of sources. Several farmers were using the colour coding as a way to inform them of the toxicity. Farmers often held incorrect views about which pesticides were strongest or most dangerous. One farmer believed that the higher priced pesticides were more toxic and lower priced pesticides were not harmful. Occupational Exposure Many farmers were aware of the dangers of pesticides and could recount several episodes of health problems related to spraying. Lannate appears to be related to many occasions of poisoning and causes moderate symptoms including severe vomiting. Lannate is a dissolvable formulation that is not associated with intentional poisoning but does have occupational exposure effects. 42

Many farmers have beliefs around occupational exposure that cannot be verified. Many farmers believe that they are immune to the effects of pesticide either because of their application rituals or because of the quantity of exposure. This is particularly significant if there is to be any changes made to the use of safety measures and a large number of farmers do not think that safety measures apply to them. There was some evidence of farmers taking preventative measures once they were exposed. Many farmers talked about the need to bathe thoroughly after spraying. There were some farmers who believed that you could reverse the effects of occupational exposure by drinking King Coconut or eating curd. H. Company Influences Companies use a variety of methods for advertising boards & banners announcements demonstration of fields by road and signs TV Print leaflets and journals free products free spraying buy1 get 1 free discounts trainings Most of the advertising is targeted at weedicides rather than pesticides. One farmer felt this was because the use of pesticides is much less in paddy now but still use of weedicide is prevalent. Some people think advertising is positive and find they get a lot of information about new products available on the market. This provides a useful way for farmers to hear about new things available to them. Negative aspects of advertising were that it is a way to increase the companys sales and when it doesn't work it is the farmers who suffer. Many people said that the companies never came back to check if the product worked and so it may be the farmer who suffers. In this way the companies loose the trust of the farmers and they become suspicious of their influence. One farmer said that the advertising is paid for by the consumer and it is very expensive and the price could be reduced if there was less advertising. Some farmers felt that companies used unfair sales tactics including raising the price once farmers liked a certain product, or reducing the strength so they would have to buy more. This led some farmers to distrust companies. Some farmers note that the advertising only is used by farmers who are less experienced or knowledgeable. Farmers who have strong belief in their own resources do not feel that they need advertising or use it. Other farmers use it as a source of information to be able to discuss with others farmers or dealers. Many farmers did not want to admit being swayed by advertising but many did also try products based on their exposure to advertising. Some farmers felt strongly that there should not be links between companies and agricultural officers and they often believed this leads to corruption. 43

I. Poisoning Prevalence of poisoning Some people feel that there is still a large problem from pesticide poisoning but others are less concerned about this now. Many farmers felt that the number of pesticide poisoning were reducing and many though it was still high but just not in this village. One farmer had listened to a radio program on International Suicide Prevention day and had mentioned that Sri Lanka had the highest rate in the world in 1995 and it was now going down. However there was a widespread belief that even though pesticide poisoning was going down there was a growing problem with oleander. Some of the reasons cited for the reduction in pesticide deaths were improved medical treatment, availability of antidotes, more medical care. Most people could identify cases in the village or nearby where there was an incidence of self poisoning and many resulting in deaths. There was also a belief among a numbers of farmers that many cases of self poisoning were gestures to get attention. Several people identified within themselves times when they thought about drinking pesticides usually at times when they were very angry. (Some links to possible ideas about cultural acceptance of suicide as a legitimate way to resolve problems - reincarnation). Causes Many people felt the reasons for suicide were mostly impulsive and seen as sudden anger following arguments within families or love affairs. There were also stories about people who had chronic or terminal illnesses. Many people also identified alcohol as a contributing factor to poisoning. One farmer cited that educated people rarely killed themselves rather it was a problem of sudden anger, problems at home which is a result of drinking alcohol. Some people recounted cases where several deaths followed soon after an earlier death and one farmer describe a girl who killed herself the day after her boyfriends death from poisoning. Some people had ideas about how different things could promote or reduce your chance of death from drinking pesticides. Some people cited the use of soapy water and in general drinking water before or after poisoning was considered important, although no agreement about whether it helped or hindered you likelihood of survival. Access to pesticides People highlighted that it was possible to access pesticides within the home, the fields or at shops. As most households have some involvement in farming there was widespread availability and access to pesticides. Several farmers highlighted that if they had a problem they would simply go to the field, their own or someone else's, and access leftovers. Most people felt that there should be restriction of sales to children although the age at which they should be able to purchase differed. Some people thought that restriction should only be for the very young and that teenagers should be allowed to purchase. Sales to women were not as clearly for or against. People cited that in emergencies they may need a younger person or woman to buy the pesticides for them therefore restricting sales would make their lives difficult.

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Response by dealers People generally thought that it was too difficult for a dealer to differentiate between a legitimate customer and a person who was buying with the intention of using for poisoning. Many people said that both farmers and others lied to the dealer and therefore it was impossible for them to see the difference. One farmer said that there should not be sales to people who cannot mention the pesticide by name. Many people did have a significant trust that dealers knew who they shouldn't sell to. Although many people said that if one dealer didn't sell then another would. Most people felt that the dealer was only interested in sales and that there was little support for the idea that they had a role in prevention. There was a difference in attitudes between people who thought that dealers didn't care what people used the pesticides for and were only interested in their sales and people who thought that dealers were not able to tell the difference and therefore could not be expected to tell the difference. Either way, no blame was apportioned to the dealer if he sold to someone who went on to poison themselves or it lead to a death, even from within families affected. Response by the community The community was generally not concerned about addressing the problem of suicide. People did not feel dealers could be held responsible or others measures taken to reduce episode of self poisoning. There was one example of a farmer who attended a meeting of the funeral society where they discussed what could be done about several deaths of youth from Oleander.

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V.

FOCUS GROUPS

There were 11 formal focus group discussions held at the village sites selected for the study. Content and participation of the focus group discussions differed with the specific focus of particular discussion and there were three kinds of focus group discussions; i). Village mapping exercises, ii). Index card exercises to reveal factors influencing in the selection of pesticides and iii). Female focus groups to understand the role of women in pesticides management. The focus group meetings were held in the places and times agreeable to all the participants and participants were formally invited to the discussions. Two research officers [RP & MW] facilitated the discussions in local vernacular, in average 6 to 10 persons were participated in a FGD. The proceedings of the FGD were audio recorded with the consent of participants, the audio tapes had then transcript and translated to English by professionals. Table 04: FGDs by focus and village; Village 1 Village mapping exercise FGD Index card exercise Female FGD Y Y Y Hambantota 2 Y Y 3 Y Y Anuradhapura 4 Y Y Y 5 Y Y -

1. Village mapping exercise;


The focus of the village mapping exercise was to gather basic village information on the sociodemographical setting, farming systems and practices, agriculture support and information system, pesticides use in the village and problems related to pesticides use and aspects influencing livelihood at the village. Usually around 8 farmers; including key office bears of village societies and well accepted farmer in the village were formally invited to the village mapping exercise. The majority of participants were selected through consultation with the village farmers organization and some well known farmers suggested by other farmers during visits. The discussion was facilitated by two research officers [RP & MW] in Singhalese and the average duration of the discussions was about 2 hours. In the village mapping exercise; participants were asked to sketch a village map and locate physical features such as roads, boundaries, irrigation canals, houses and land holdings, shops and other enterprises, common buildings and other basic infrastructure facilities etc and specify biological features such as vegetation coverage and different crops. Later the information on the drawn maps was verified and supplemented through transect walks across the village guided by the some of the participants in the exercise.

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Summary of Village FGDs; Village 1: Barawakumbuka Place: House of the president of the village farmers organization. Participants: - 7 participants; two office bearers of the farmer organization, two office bearers of the youth society, one office bearer from the village welfare society and two well known experienced farmers. All are adult males.

Figure 05: Village leaders participation in FGDs Village 2: Watiya Place: - House of the president of the joint federation of farmers organization in the branch irrigation canal. Participants: - 7 participants; 3 office bearers representing two farmers organization in the village, two office bearers from the welfare society, and two respected village elders. All are males. Village 3: Galwewa Place: - This meeting was held in a cluster of farmers houses middle of the fields in a backyard of a well accepted young farmers house. Farmers in this cluster cultivate crops under two different irrigation /landholding systems. Participants: - 10 participants; 2 office bearers farmers organization, 3 office bearers of the women society, 4 experienced farmers, 4 out of 10 participants are females.

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Village 4: Rajangana Tract 13 Place: - This meeting was held in a cluster of farmers houses middle of the fields in the house of well accepted farmer in the locality. This cluster of houses is noted for growing vegetables to the Colombo market. Participants: - 7 participants all are experienced farmers from the locality, and other farmers in the cluster respect to them. This cluster situated away from the village center therefore these farmers do not hold influential positions in the village societies run by the village power group in the center of the village. Note: - two exercise; village mapping exercise and index card exercise to identify influences for selecting pesticides carried out in the same meeting. Village 5: Rajangana Tract 5 Place: - House of the president of the village farmers organization. Participants: - 9 participants; 6 office bearers of the farmers organization, the village agriculture officer, and an ex officio of a reputed farmers movement in the island [a farmer from the village]. Note: - two exercise; village mapping exercise and index card exercise to identify influences for selecting pesticides carried out in the same meeting.

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2. Index card exercise / Influences for the pesticides selection;


The aim of this exercise was to identify and rank the factors that influenced pesticide selection. The exercise was conducted in 4 villages, 2 discussions in Hambantota and 2 in Anuradhapura District. In the focus groups held in Hambantota a new groups of farmers that had not been involved in the previous village mapping exercise were invited to participate in this FGD, while in Anuradhapura both the mapping exercise and index card exercise were conducted together. Consideration was given to ensuring that farmers with different farming practices were invited to join the group. Below in Table 05 are results from each exercise.

Figure 06: Index Cards arranged in prepared order

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Table 05: Ranking of the factors influencing the choice of pesticides Rank
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Village 1
Personal experience Other farmers experiences Effectiveness Joint farmers influence Volume of the container Company Dealers recommendation s AI's advice Occupational after effects New pesticides. Sales promotions Family members influence Form of the product Price Packing of pesticides

Village 3
Dealers recommendations* Personal experience Other farmers experiences Company Effectiveness Strength Occupational after effects Price Family members influence Form of the product Volume of the container Sales promotions AI's advice* Environment impact* Joint farmers influence Information booklets Packing of pesticides Credit sales

Village 4
Personal experience Other farmers experiences Effectiveness Strength Age / maturity of the crop Dealers recommendations Weather

Village 5
Personal experience Sales promotions Knowledge on IPM Other farmers experiences Dealers recommendations AI's advice Effectiveness

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Volume of the container Form of the product Price money in pocket Sales promotions Company Credit sales

Price Sales discount Credit sales Company Strength Dealers responsibility Form of the product

* An influential village leader at village 3 had altered the final ranking result without others agreement. This table shows the corrected back results

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The ranking exercises showed the importance of the concepts of personal experience, advice of others, strength and effectiveness, and price related factors. The group membership and dynamics were probably responsible for a number of anomalies within the data. The relative importance of other farmers is probably overstated as it is expected that in a discussion between themselves they would want to rate each others advice highly. The second inconsistency is the importance placed on environmental and health impacts. It is possible the participants answered in a particular way due to expectations about the agency conducting the research. In piloting of the card exercise most farmers were keen to ensure that they answered correctly so it is likely that this is a significant factor in their answers. Furthermore these two factors were not rated as highly in the other components of the research.

Figure 07: Comparison of rankings across the villages

3. Female focus groups discussions;


The main focus of the female focus group discussions was to understand the role of women in relation to pesticides handling within the home and the farm and their influences on the decision making. There were 3 discussions held, two discussions in Hambantota and one in Anuradhapura. In selecting participants for the discussion, initial approaches were made to the formal women groups already operating in the community [small groups of rural saving and credit societies], however in the third female FDG selection was based on women who were involved in farming and day to day handling of pesticides. About 6-8 females were participated in each discussion.

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Village: 1. [1-G-10], Female Focus Group


Summary Pesticide poisoning was a problem and they considered the main cause to be alcohol and the economy. Generally these women were moderately involved in agriculture as they were linked to a womens microcredit scheme. They had limited awareness or involvement in the use of pesticides All decisions related to pesticides and farming was taken by the males in the family and their role was limited to providing assistance such as helping harvesting Women took an active role in securing pesticides in the home and were worried about the occupational exposure of their male family members. Concerns were raised about banning and the ability of farmers to have secure livelihoods.

Setting of the group: 8 women in middle age, all married and members of a rural credit / savings small groups backed up by Walawe Woman Society. Their homes are located in non irrigable high area and belong to the second generation of the original settlers of the village. Grow paddy and vegetables in arranged / owned irrigated lands. Relatively poor and live in unfinished small houses [excluding one woman, that has well build house+. Recently the group received material assistance from the Walawe Kantha Society to grow banana in their home gardens *thicket+ that left fallow for long time. The FGD was convened by the small group leader, a dominant lady in all affairs in the family [home & farm] and village politics. There were few husbands of participants observing the discussion at the beginning and sometimes they involved in the discussion, however after several minutes [20] they left. Observations & Comments: Pesticides awareness Usually females could name pesticides by their common names, most of them knew a few brands that were regularly used, but they could not recall most of them by brand names. They knew major pests that commonly harmed their crops and a few pesticides they use for them. We dont normally check the names. Those were checked by our husbands. A L1 Cropping decision Cropping decisions of what, where and when to cultivate were usually made by the males and females were rarely involved. It was same when the participants were assisted by Walawe Kantha [Women] Society to begin vegetable cultivation in fallowed lands, their husbands decided which crops to be establish in those lands and females fully agreed with them. Usually they grew vegetables [loft crops] in other land where you can get a higher return by using more agrochemicals. When they start farming in fallowed lands they opted for possible highest return by growing puwalu; a variety of banana that are difficult to grow in repeatedly cultivated lands.

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Reliance on pesticides The participants thought that the new hybrid crop varieties *Called Malaysian seeds+ cannot be grown without pesticides and indigenous grain varieties do not need pesticides or artificial fertilizer: A1 : For vegetables of course, you cant do without spraying pesticides. A2 : The Malaysian products of those have not come yet. Now there are Malaysian seeds and we dont have our own old seeds. The seeds what we still have is kurakkan[millet] and sesame. We dont use pesticides for those yet. A1 : If a disease appears only we would spray pesticides. Otherwise, we dont. Q : You mean to say that we have to spray because those are Malaysian seeds? A2 : Compulsorily. A1 : Those cannot be grown without using pesticides. Female involvement in the choice of pesticides: Generally women were not consulted about pesticide choices and they seldom enquired about pesticides either. Some participants stated that their husbands didnt like to talk about pesticides they bought except general statement about the cost. If the pesticides did not work then they would talk more, and would blame the pesticides dealers. However they would never complain directly to the dealers because they were afraid. Q : Whom do they blame then? A1 : At times, even the Mudalali gives certain things saying that it is good. When it doesnt work, we sometimes hear them blaming the Mudalali also. A2 : We are the only people who hear that. A3 : They wouldnt talk like that for the Mudalali to hear. Q : Wont he go and shout at the Mudalali? A : Then he wont be able to go there again to buy pesticides. Pesticides storage practice at home: The usual practice of storage of pesticides within the home was attempting to hide them away from children. Most prepared a place in the thicket [small bushy area left to fallow] next to the home, or hang in a bag in a high place outside the house. Two families kept leftover pesticides locked in boxes, while another left pesticides at the farm. All other households attempt to hide the pesticides away from children, because they consider children were not aware of the risks. Males tended to hide or hang bottles outside home, but dust type pesticides were left at home. Females generally bore the responsibility for hiding pesticides left at home. Q : Who decided to keep the box under lock and key? A : Anyway the poisons are not just kept here and there. Even if someone other than a family member comes across those, they might open and check. So, therefore we handle those with care. We take what we need to spray to the cultivation and the leftover will be brought back and straight away kept aside. That is how we do.

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Occupational safety Participants were generally worried about the way males sprayed pesticides because they knew of many cases where either farmers had died or was seriously injured from spraying pesticides. They all agreed that their male family members do not take enough care with the necessary precautions, wearing protective gears etc. They stated that they request males to wear basic protective gears but males ignore them. They were critical about the bad habits of their male family members on chewing beetle nuts while spraying etc A A A A A : Some dont even have those things [protective gears; gloves and masks]. Sometimes they dont even wear those when spraying. They just spray. : Even though those are there, they dont use. : We do tell them to take precautions but they dont care. : Even Calcron is very poisonous. : For some people it is poisonous. Some people eat beetle nuts while spraying pesticides. So, when as soon as you eat beetle nuts you feel little dope and then these things happen. : For my husband, even now after spraying pesticides he feels a heaviness in the head. If he sprays about 5-6 tanks of pesticides he feels it. He gets something like a cold. That is the effect he has after spraying pesticides.

Pesticides purchase / outlets In about half of the households, the males did all the market shopping every day, including household needs and agriculture needs, and in the other half, the female went to market for household needs. But only one female participant had any experience in purchasing pesticides, all other females had never purchased agriculture inputs including seeds and fertilizer. None of those families sent their children to buy pesticides. Q A Q A A : Dont you all send your children to buy? : No, we dont send our children. : Dont you all send the children with a letter even? : No, we dont. : We dont send children under any circumstances.

Pesticides information Females believe that their husbands had adequate knowledge and experience to decide about pesticides and they were aware of the dealers influence on their decisions. But they did not feel they had any need to consult with neighboring farmers. Several participants had sighted several recent advertisements for new brands of pesticides [brand names; paradol , Nomini] but the majority had not noticed. Generally they never take note of the advertising but their husbands do. Female jobs in the field / pesticides handling One participant had sprayed pesticides in the field earlier, and other participants occasionally accompanied her husband spraying pesticides at the farm. Their tasks were to fill sprayers with

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water and help them to lift the sprayer etc, apart from that females main workload was in the vegetable plots. Pesticides banning This group knew nothing about the impending ban on several pesticides, or pesticides regulations. They were aware of past banning of monocrotophos *recalled with the help of an observing male farmer+, and they speculated that lanate should be banned due to its high toxicity. Their view on the impact of the banning was mixed, they tried to balance between the impact on human health and crop loss. They hoped that there would be other alternative products to replace pesticides banned. Few participants strongly supported the idea of removing high toxic pesticides like lanet, on human health reasons. But others said its unfair to remove essential pesticides on the ground of health reasons. And one participant suggested education of sprayers on right practices as an alternative to banning to reduce health impacts. Participants who were totally opposed to banning of any pesticide to reduce self poisoning did not show any sympathy toward those attempting self harm. one who going to drink pesticides should know the consequence and not to do it Pesticides poisoning Participants felt that there was an increase of pesticides available in the home compared to the past. However, they felt that deaths due to pesticides were reducing and those who consumed pesticides were more likely to recover. Village: 2. [2-G-7] Female Focus Group Summary These participants were generally less involved in agriculture They were afraid of pesticides and the harm from them and so generally had very little contact or responsibility for them. They believed that male family members did not take adequate safety measures to prevent occupational exposure. They were broadly supportive of banning on environmental grounds They talked unemotionally about episodes of self harm and often blamed the victim

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Figure 08: Female Focus Group Discussion in Village 2 Setting of the group: 7 participants, they are members of several small groups of a rural women credit society. One widow and other are married women, majority in their 50s. The discussion was convened through a member of that small group. Most of them were wives of farmers who were the original settlers of the village; they all had farming lands either cultivated by their husbands or children. Their house conditions were varying from well build to unfinished poor houses. They grow mainly banana, vegetables and paddy. Observations & Comments: Pesticides awareness /perception: Participants had a very general knowledge of pesticides mostly gained from their husbands. They knew about some pesticides companies and which one was good or bad from their husbands, however they did not pay attention to the bill boards and advertisements. Some of the group felt pesticides as an evil thing. A1 : Of course dont even touch those. A1 : In our house it is kept to be seen but nobody goes to touch when there are wicked pesticides. Q : What do you mean by wicked ? A1 : That means when strong pesticides are brought in, we know where those were kept but nobody goes to touch it and also there are no kids at home. They categorized pesticides strong and not so strong; non selective herbicides were seen as worse pesticides because they burn and boil weeds on the soil and those who drink them do not survive. They also worried about the health impacts of eating contaminated vegetables; Pesticides buying Many participants in this group had experience of buying pesticides, mostly they did so on the request of males. Generally they did not play a role in selecting pesticides as they had no experience. 56

Pesticides handling /storage Majority of the participants had some leftover pesticides kept aside somewhere in the house, they thought of them as evil and they did not like to touch them. Few participants attempted to keep leftover pesticides at field or hide/ hand on as they have kids at home. Occupational safety The participants felt that the majority of males did not care about basic safety measure, except when they applied specific chemicals. Cropping decisions Among the majority cropping decisions of what, when and where to grow crops were solely taken by males and one young participant stated that she is the person who initiates cropping decision in the family, but even in her family, pesticides selection was a husbands job. However, there were two females who made pesticides decision themselves; a divorced female and an elder female whose sons were busy in other jobs. In both cases these females entirely depend on males; relatives or dealers to make the pesticides choice. Females jobs in the farm Majority females accompanied and assisted husbands to spray pesticides, while two of them had experience of spraying pesticides themselves. Pesticides poisoning Participants recalled a long list of recent self poisoning cases in the area including both pesticides and oleander poisonings. They never showed any sympathy or other emotions about the incidences but just shared information who, what, how, as if recalling a regular event. Some people drink like that. There are many such incidents. They just drink to make the other one frighten. No, some even drink to die. Some times they drink to frighten you but once drunk, they die. When you have instant anger and when they lose mental power mostly they just do that. Pesticides banning A few of the group were aware of the recent banning of gramoxone [paraquat] after their husbands was talking about it. According to them its go to ban because its bad for the soil, vegetations, and some other pesticides too going to be banned on the same reason. When they were asked whether they would support such banning on environmental concerns; their opinion divided , some to say they cannot comment, other to say its good and some others not support it as they loss control over the grass etc. When they asked their opinion about banning a pesticides because it is widely used for self poisoning, they all support banning on those grounds however they all stated that there also needs to be an alternative available to replace it. A1 A3 A5 A3 A3 : : : : :

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Village: 4. [4-G-13] Female Focus Group Discussion Summary These participants were actively involved in agriculture as their husbands were absent. They were responsible for all decisions related to crops- selection, pesticides, spraying. They had limited knowledge of pesticides and relied heavily on dealers for suggestions of products. They rarely discussed with each other about farming advice They did not employ very many accepted safety measures when spraying and in some cases less safety precautions than male farmers. None of the female farmers left pesticides in the field for fear of theft. All the women used a specific dealer and trust with that dealer given their reliance is paramount. These female farmers did not employ IPM methods They were critical of people who self harmed but were sympathetic if it involved a husbands drinking.

Setting of the group: Participants; members of a small group of the Ceylinco Rural Credit Program, all are neighbours living in a cluster of house in the Ussana [pump irrigation] section of the tract 15. This is an extension area elevated than main irrigation canal and farmers pay fuel cost to pump water to their lands. Usually the descendants of the families living in main irrigation area settled here, some of they own paddy lands in main irrigation area, they grow vegetables [egg plant, chillies, pea, okra, and cucumber ] that supplied to the Manning market[Colombo main vegetable market] their home gardens with supplementary lift irrigation around the year. Discussion began with 8 females; 2 of them are widows, and others husbands are employed *army, police, a carpenter, and a shopkeeper]. All the participants are engaged in farming their home gardens. All are between 30 to 45 year old and have children. During the discussion two ladies left and two joined. Observations & Comments: Cropping /Pesticides decision and selection These participants managed their home garden crops alone, because their husbands were occupied away from home, or were widowed. They grew vegetables to support day to day household expenditure. They were proud to be engaged in farming, and it gave them an opportunity to earn money staying at home during the day. These females consulted regularly with each other about the application of pesticides, and consulted mostly with the dealer for recommendations of pesticides. They did not emphasize their own experience and knowledge on pest and pesticides. And they did not hesitate to use a new product if the dealer suggested. In general these female farmers were much more likely to consult widely about all aspects of farming. 58

Pesticides application About half of participants sprayed pesticides in their home gardens, but they did not spray pesticides in the paddy fields. However they often assisted their husbands [or hired labour] to fill, mix and lifting knapsack sprayers. Occupational safety /impacts The participants felt that they had experience of side effects such as body itching and sore feet when they stayed too long in paddy fields where fertilizer or pesticides had been applied recently. Two participants expressed their own experience of being hospitalized after occupational exposure and another participants husband was hospitalized as well. A3 : Normally, you dont get into the paddy filed soon after spraying pesticides or fertilizers. A1 : Also, my husband had a wound in his, which leg got infected when he was preparing the niyaras [soil bund] in the paddy field after spraying pesticides in the paddy filed and those were absorbed into his body and had to take him to the hospital. A7 : I feel dizzy because the pesticides are strong. Half of the participants sprayed pesticides regularly. They all felt that they would be affected by the spraying but this did not result in adhering to safety measures. The only safety measures they employed were covering arms and head while spraying. Few participants suggested that they would wear protective mask or gloves as they said they were not available. The precautions they took for handling and cleaning after pesticide spraying was not adequate. Q A3 Q A2 A3 A3 A : How do you spray the pesticides? : We dont follow any protective method. : Are all of you like that? : I would change the cloths. : There are times where we would wash our hands very well and have our food. : I dont know about the others but I of course clean myself after spraying. : Yes. But if the pesticides we spray have a strong odour, we would have a bath compulsorily.

Pesticides storage Participants attempted to keep leftover pesticides inaccessible to children at home, either by hiding them or placing them in an elevated position inside or outside house. However they did not attempt to keep them inaccessible to adults in family. None of the participants left pesticides in their field as they feared theft. Pesticides outlet There are two local pesticides outlets in the village [4-D-13, 4-D-14], the first outlet opened recently, and both these outlets are located within 500m from the cluster of house, and there some other outlets in the main irrigated area about 2km of travel distance. The nearest town to the village is Nochchiyagama 10 km away from the village. All of these farmers preferred to go to one pesticide outlet [4-D-13] and they go to the other outlet [4-D-14] only on rare occasions when the pesticides they were looking for are not available at the first outlet. They preferred the new outlet [4-d-13] because they could purchase pesticides on credit, it was convenient and they can send children to buy pesticides from this outlet. 59

Pesticides information /choice The majority of the group would buy the cheapest pesticides that would work for them, and only one participant claimed that she would buy the best one. There was a remarkable difference between female pesticide buyers in Hambantota and females in this locality; according to the dealers in Hambantota females usually bring a name of a pesticides that was requested for them to buy, but according to a local pesticides dealer [4-D-13] females in this area make many inquiries about the different pesticides available and probably spent more time at the counter. The first source of information in selecting a pesticide for women in this group is information from the neighbors. They felt that by consulting with neighboring farmers they could exclude cheap but ineffective pesticides and consider the next cheapest option. However, the dealer was the person who was most influential in suggesting the name of a product. Usually the dealer suggests several pesticides brands and let buyer decide based on price, experience or other information. Occasionally they got advice and prescription for pesticides from the agricultural instructor. The participants stated that they never pay attention to the pesticides commercials on TV but half of the participants regularly watched the IPM programme on the TV. Although they stated that they could not employ those IPM techniques as they grow vegetables on a larger scale. Pesticides promotion They do not pay much attention on the TV commercials of pesticides, however promotion of pesticides through distributing free samples is common practice and group had mixed feeling on this method of promotion, while one female going to try it but with doubt and two other refuse to test those samples as they do not have trust on strange promotions officers. Pesticides poisoning The participants recalled that several years back pesticides poisoning among female was very common in the area and at this time dealers avoided selling to young females. They felt that female poisoning is much less now but there are still many cases where drunken men consumed pesticides. One female said that she knew how to give first aid [?] to those consumed pesticides. A3 : If we make the patient drink soap water in here and send there, then they wont give soap water to the patient. They give a purple colour medicine. I have seen it and that is why I am saying this. Once that medicine is given the patient wont die. Now, they say it is no point drinking poison as long as that medicine is there. They were very critical towards those who consumed pesticides; however the group had mixed views on the issue and a few participants were very angry and stated that they should left to die as its a waste of resources to treat them. While others were only critical of people under the influence of alcohol but were sympathetic toward young children who were not aware of what they were doing. Pesticides banning Many of the group had not heard about the control of pesticides and pesticides outlets. They thought that pesticides outlets are controlled by the Public Health Inspector [PHI] they were not generally worried about banning of any products as they are regularly replaced by new products. 60

VI.

KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS

There were 14 key informant interviews conducted, the following Table 06 describes the coverage of the key informant interviews. Table 06: Key informants categories Category Agriculture Extension Service Senior Executives 1 2 3 Junior executive Field officers 4 5 6 7 8 9 Health Sector Local administration NGO Pesticides company field officer Farmers 10 11 12 13 14 Title Project manager main irrigation schemedirector main irrigation scheme Project Deputy director interprovincial Agriculture officer irrigation block Head office IPM Officer Agriculture Instructor Agriculture assistant Unit manager Farmers guide [Krupanisa] District medical officer Additional district secretary Head, NGO Area marketing dev. Officer A farmer leader Code 15 17 25 05 24 22 05 13 21 16 23 20 18 11

K-05; Agriculture officer at the Irrigation block office. An irrigation block is consist of around 3000 ha area managed by a team of specialist in irrigation, agriculture etc. The agriculture officer was assisted by several agriculture field assistants and hold responsibility for the implementation of the seasonal agricultural plan. Summary of the discussion: There has been an IPM program running for a number of years, there are two trained IPM field assistants conducting several IPM farmer field schools in different places in the area each season. The majority of IPM trained paddy farmers use IPM and use insecticides only in extreme situations. They had distributed 100 lockable boxes to farmers to safely store leftover pesticides. They informed farmers that Dimethoate and Cloripyrifos are going to be banned; they got the information from a visiting research officer/ trainer from the agriculture department. They have not heard of any recent pesticides self poisoning but feel there is a rising problem with oleander poisonings. They heard about a program, although had no details, to cut down oleander trees initiated by MHO office. The idea was for PHI to visit each house and find oleander trees, but they were not aware of any further action on this. 61

Observations / notes: We feel that this officer may not have been completely truthful because he wanted to highlight how much IPM farmers trainings they had conducted. Our experience of talking to farmers in the areas suggested that IPM training is not as widespread as he suggested. We also asked for details about any training program that was funded by pesticide companies, but he said they did not conduct any such trainings. It was later found that there were some such programs conducted. They said that they had distributed some 100 lockable pesticides safe storage boxes to farmer. Although he could not recount the criteria they adopted to select farmers and the source of boxes.

K-07; Agriculture assistant at an irrigation unit. This field officer was responsible for agriculture extension services in the irrigation unit consisting of several villages. This officer has less than one year working experience in this location, but more than 10 years experience in another irrigation project. He had undertaken special instruction on training farmers on IPM. Contents of the discussion: He is responsible for implementing the model paddy farmer program, running an IPM field school in the season, and facilitating distribution of certified seeds and plant materials. Usually they select a single field canal that has about 15-20 farmers for both the model field program and the IPM field school. They implement most of the recommended components; seasonal cultivation plan, compost, certified seeds, IPM field school, nutrient management course etc. He felt that usually about 80% of the farmers involved in the model field program regularly participate in training. Most of the farmers he works with can now identify helpful and harmful insects; they use insecticides only for harmful insects. They recommend to farmers to first make localized pesticide application on spots where the pest is located, and only do a full field application when it becomes necessary. They do not conduct trainings fro vegetable farmers at the field or unit level; however there are some special training on vegetable crops conducted at the block irrigation office with the pesticides /seeds company assistance. Now most of the farmers do not apply high toxic pesticides like monocrotophos and carbofuran, his superiors informed him that those things going to be banned due to their LD value.

Observations / notes: This officer was not aware about pesticides which were already banned; he did not well have a good knowledge of pesticides, and was not aware of the newly announced bans. He recognized that farmers do not visit him with plants samples for advice, and one farmer told us that when he asked this officer for advice they went together to the dealer.

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K-11; Farmer Leader. A reputed and respected farmer in village 3. The objective of this interview was to gain information about a company sponsored meeting which was held about impending restrictions on the sales of pesticides. Findings were confirmed by interviewing another farmer. Notes: Chemical company/s has sponsored a meeting for farmers to understand their attitudes towards the impending paraquat ban. It was held in June 2007 in a village temple. The meeting was organised by IPM trainer for Murawesihena area. The DRPM Embilipitiya has asked him to organize the meeting. Around 30 farmers participated in the meeting. The first question asked in the meeting was Do you like to ban the paraquat? most participants said No, and then the companys response was to enlist cooperation and try to change the government decision Organizers emphasized to farmers safe handling of paraquat as a way to help reduce the deaths from poisoning At the end of the session participants were given a free mask to wear when spraying pesticides and refreshments.

K-13; Manager of an Irrigation Unit in a Major Irrigation Scheme The manager of this unit has broad area of responsibility that included irrigation system and land use management to ensure agriculture productivity and agriculture extension services in a wide range of villages. This officer has worked for 6 years in the same irrigation unit and has vast experience of working with farmers. Contents of the discussion: He felt that the majority of paddy farmers use fewer pesticides than previously, however there was a small minority that excessively used pesticides. The irrigation unit carry out a range of activities during the season including: Pre-season training ; set cultivation calendar, recommend varieties, IPM & compost training; IPM farmer field school with a selected group of farmers [10] throughout the season. Additional seasonal specific trainings for example this season there was a pesticides safe use training conducted by representatives of a pesticide company. He felt that there were hardly any farmers who did exactly as they recommended. From his experience he felt there was a range of different farmers and could describe them. The farmers categories he noted were (see Figure 09):

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Engaged with AIs;

Engagaed with other farmers

Experience only

Unsucessful farmers

Solitary farmers

few farmers around 5%

most farmers

stand on their own mind

don't listen to anyone

do not participate in anything

participate in training, listen to advice

don't believe AI's advice

older farmers

don't apply right methods

landless

established farmers

rented/ leased land

complain and criticise alot

poor farmers

young farmers

especially middle aged

hardly any farmers

issues of access to resources

own land

Figure 09: Farmers types described by the field agriculture extension officer Emergence of new diseases / pest problems was a challenge to promoting reduced pesticide applications [IPM], when farmers are familiar with pests then they know exactly the best pesticide or method to control it. However, when there is a new or unknown pest appearing they feel helpless and do anything to save the crop. A recent example was in paddy last season, a new problem occurred and they cannot identify whether it is a pest, disease or nutrient problem. Farmers became very worried and consulted with everybody, many things were suggested and farmers sprayed whatever they heard but in the end the crop failed. In this office we called to the research stations, they investigated, suggested pesticides but no still this did not help. In this season now we have unprecedentedly high use of pesticides as farmers take precautionary action to avoid losing their crop. They have not received any pesticide recommendations from the department, however occasionally the department publishes booklets with recommended pesticides on certain crops. However the agriculture extension officers have to order these publications by mail. In contrast the companies freely distribute information materials and there is widespread availability of company literature. The officer updates his officers with new information about pesticides usually at the monthly review meeting of the agriculture extension service officers. Representatives of different pesticides companies come to this meeting to promote their product; they distribute well produced information of new products and give samples to field officers. All the field demonstrations of new pesticides done with the acknowledgement and participation of the unit manager and if any product advertisement displayed in fields without consent the unit manager it will be removed. The officer raised concerns about a urea fertilizer which has been causing infestations in crops and induces more pesticides use. He felt that this urea fertilizer should not continue to be subsidised. He felt that IPM did not apply for vegetable crops cultivated for the market. Although he felt that many vegetable farmers maintain a no pesticides corner of their plot for self-consumption. 64

The officer felt optimistic about promotion of organic farming of fruits and vegetables through forward agreements with such companies. However he felt that trust between farmers and organic companies might derail the project. Some farmers have unpleasant experiences when working with agrochemical companies. Recently a well known company sold defective [mutated] banana plants to several farmers. An agriculture department investigation found the source of the problem and farmers went to the court to recover damages. These types of incidences make it difficult for farmers to trust companies.

Observations / notes: We observed that many farmers in this area trust this officer, and it was evident he regularly visited remote farmers. His main job was to maintain the irrigation and land system management but he is also very engaged with farmers about pesticides and IPM.

K-15; Project Manager Agriculture, Major Irrigation Scheme. This senior administrator for the agriculture extension service was responsible for a major irrigation scheme of 12,000 ha area. Contents of the discussion: He felt that regular education and promotion programs carried out by the irrigation agency over the past 20 years has resulted in a significant reduction in the use of insecticides by paddy farmers. In the beginning of IPM about 90-95% farmers use insecticides, now he feels that only about 40-45%. However he noted that there were no changes in the use of fungicides which remain around 40% throughout the period. He feels that there has been no real impact on the use of herbicides. In vegetable farming there is a greater and increasing use of pesticides and these crops are becoming more popular. The irrigation agency is planning to do some IPM field trials on vegetables * acre plots, its like home garden+ in coming season. The irrigation agency always considers farmers and agronomists suggestion on making crop and irrigation calendars to match with natural weather patterns in order to minimize the insect infestations, and thus reduce the need to use pesticides. However, the availability of water in reservoirs is a critical point for the agency when fixing cropping calendars.

Observations / notes: We had only very brief meeting and failed to get his view on several other issues including ways and means of updating his field staff about the current pesticides information, impact of the recently announced pesticides bans, and activities related to pesticides safe use/ safe storage.

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K-17; Project Director Agriculture, Major Irrigation Scheme. This officer was an agriculture administrator well known for successfully introducing new innovations to irrigated agriculture. He has experience in promoting IPM in paddy since 1983. Contents of the discussion: Introduction of IPM for paddy began in 1983, at this time it was recommended to compulsorily spray insecticides twice on worms and flies before the appearance of insect infestations as a precaution and spray more insecticides when needed. After a long period of creating awareness and thousands of trainings and field schools, he felt that the vast majority of farmers use insecticides only when pests appear. However, still farmers had no viable alternatives to reduce the use of herbicides. There is a shortage of IPM trained extension officers; a batch of field assistants were given a 3 months in-house training on IPM, but still not all the field assistants were aware of the proper methods to train farmers to adopt IPM. Many IPM trained farmers do not exactly use all the IPM methods as they were trained, but they use the knowledge and skills they obtained in trainings to minimize chances for pest infestations. There are many case studies and success stories of IPM, but he was not aware of any published studies covering larger farmer populations. Still there are no recommendations for the application of IPM methods to vegetable crops. However there are trainings for organic home gardens and arrangements for selling organic fruits through a forward agreement system with an organic food company.

K-18; Area marketing development officer of a leading pesticides company. This field officer promotes his companies pesticide brands through visiting regularly to the outlets and organizing field demonstrations etc. Contents of the discussion: The company hired agriculture extension officers that visit farmers fields growing certain crops like onion, investigate the crop problems and recommend pesticides. He felt that there are traditional farmers that dont change pesticides, but the majority farmers are eager to learn and experiment. Farmers believe that mixing of several chemicals will give a magical effect from synergetic actions of chemicals. So the company and field officers usually add some liquid fertilizer / micro nutrients to the pesticides at field demonstrations. He was aware that a well reputed pesticide sprayer in the area believed in mixing chemicals because he knew the secret formula of pesticides. He felt that some of the big pesticide distributors are very clever in manipulating the market to increase profitability. Recently a distributor from down south stockpiled paraquat knowing that the demand for this will go up. They even went to distributors in North Central Province where they paid a high price for them in order to increase their stockpile. The company this officer works for is investing money to keep up with social responsibilities; including promote safe use, voluntary agreements etc. However the company is facing competition from another company that is well connected politically who he feels will not adhering to the same social responsibility measures. 66

Observations: We met this officer at a pesticides outlet while he was informing the dealer of a new brand of pesticide. He explained the actions of the pesticide to the dealer and told him that he had already conducted several field demonstrations with farmers, so they would probably come to the store to request them. We observed a general discussion he had with farmers present at the outlet. He advised the farmers to give a drink of muddy water to people who had ingested paraquat or glyphosate as a first aid before taking them to the hospital. He claimed it would reduce the strength of chemicals and therefore assist the recovery of the person.

K-20; President of a leading NGO promoting sustainable agriculture. This NGO officer has more than 10 years experience in promoting sustainable agriculture including traditional methods of pest control, and some aspects of organic farming. He felt he had witnessed both benefits and limitations of the methods they promoted.

Contents of the discussion:


The officers felt that more farmers were growing crops other than paddy, and are directly connected with the market. He feels that the market plays a big role in deciding which crops farmers decide to grow, and government agriculture extension services do not have any role in this relationship. He feels that the politically appointed village krupanisa officers *Agriculture Research and Development Assistant or Farmer Guider] do not have adequate knowledge to advice farmers on farming methods. He also felt that the majority of farmers did not have adequate knowledge to select seeds, fertilizer, and pest control so they depend on dealers advice. He felt that farmers preferred the instant solutions that dealers offered more than sustainable solutions. His experience was that young entrepreneurial farmers quickly understood and adopted organic farming concepts, but in a very short time they faced difficulty in increasing output with organic methods. The main constrains of organic methods is the very high demand for labour and lack of composting material. These young people soon shift from organic methods to chemical methods of farming. The Mahaweli-H is a big irrigation scheme and water and labour are scarce resources in the area. Thus system management policies and water allocation rules govern what and how to cultivate in the system and its difficult for individual farmers to grow crops in a different way. As an example he recounted that at the beginning of a season, the first water issue is 15 days and farmers have to complete all the land preparation and sow the paddy within this period. This short land preparation period means that farmers must use herbicides to clear and prepare the land in time. He feels that they did not receive adequate support from the government for the promotion of organic agriculture. At the beginning agriculture officers would belittle our efforts. In the past the government agriculture extension service was very effective and actively played the role of promoting chemical methods of farming against then widely practiced traditional methods of farming. Now the government does not allocate enough resources to the agriculture extension 67

service, and current agriculture extension services are limited to conducting a small number of training to farmers closely associated with these officers. He feels that no efforts are made to disseminate knowledge beyond these farmers group. His experience shows that organic farming is best suited to small household gardens and hard to maintain in large cropping areas. This NGO feels that the best way to increase organic methods is to work out new farming techniques that suit farmers. They have promoted several organic farming methods and techniques, but farmers only adopted a few of the less complicated methods. He felt that even the best practices we promoted had disappeared within a few seasons. They feel that there is a need to explore and introduce more productive organic farming methods.

K-21; Krupanisa [Agriculture Research and Production Assistant] cum pesticides outlet owner. Krupanisa or the farmer guider is a village based employee of the department of agrarian services. They are recruited from the same village in which they are based. Beside their main duties of coordination of agrarian services of land and water resources management, and subsidy disbursement, they also responsible for agriculture extension services. This interviewee [NCP-K-21] is a political leader in his village and runs several small agribusinesses and he also owns a pesticides outlet in the town centre.

Contents of the discussion:


This officer promotes the growing of paddy strictly with the cultivation calendar to minimize infestations, and therefore cut down insecticides applications. He observed that now farmers apply fewer pesticides than in the past [8-10 years]. He feels that farmers spray insecticides at the first site of an insect, even though this is against his recommendation. He felt that there were many farmers that do not adhere to the cultivation calendar or his advice and that they believe that they should compulsorily apply insecticides on paddy too. However he did feel that there were some seasons where it was necessary to apply lot of insecticides, fungicides and lot of chemicals. Many farmers coming to the Agrarian service station for advice with diseased plants. The village agricultural officers usually direct the farmers to him as the AI is out on other duties. He feels he has extensive knowledge on pests and crops as he is also involved in farming and owns a pesticides outlet in the town. The Agrarian Service Centre runs a pesticide outlet whose main business is selling pesticides to farmers who obtained credits from the fund maintained at the centre. They sell only Ceypetco [the government run pesticides company] products. He feels that Ceypetco products are much cheaper than the other products available in the market; however the discount given to dealers by companies lowers the price for farers. Agrarian service stations buy Ceypetco at wholesale prices and so can sell them at much cheaper price than other outlets in the town. This officer owns a pesticides outlet and several years back he was very competitors to the main outlets in the town. He gave pesticides, seeds and fertilizer at credit to the farmers in the area and found it was easy to recover as he was the field officer regularly visiting them. However with the government fertilizer subsidy they lessened the need for credit and some of the farmers

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defaulted. Now the pesticides business is run by a relative and he is trying to recover defaulted loans and works in the office. He knew that dimethoate was going to be banned as he had heard from the company representative. He thought the reason for the ban was the high death rate.

K-22; Agriculture Instructor: [AI]; This field level agricultural extension officer is currently the lowest rank in the government agriculture extension service. They are diploma holders from the government run farm schools. They are responsible for implementing current government programs of agricultural development and solving cropping problems for farmers in the area assigned to them. This officer, together with two other junior AIs, are based in a major irrigation scheme and look after 18 irrigation blocks with about 18,000 farmers. He himself is responsible for agricultural extension in 9 irrigation blocks and has more than 5 year working experience in the area.

Contents of the discussion:


He described a new technology that reduced the need for pesticides in paddy; A promising new technology in paddy planting called the parachute method helps to reduce the pesticide use in paddy. Last season this AI assisted in several field demonstrations of this new technology. He felt that farmers accepted the new technology and plans to further promote the technology by implementing more field demonstrations in the coming season. In the past, paddy farmers did not use herbicides as they transplanted the paddy in the fields that were weeded manually through land preparation. Now farmers compulsorily spray selective herbicides about 15 days before the paddy. Herbicides are the most expensive pesticides in paddy. However, farmers feel they cannot practice traditional methods as it needs a lot of labour. Experience in IPM promotion; Several years back promoting IPM was a well resourced core part of their responsibilities. Now there are no specific funds for the IPM program and activities are limited to conducting several IPM field schools in each season. However the officer tries in the farmers meeting to explain to farmers the importance of using IPM. Currently IPM is limited to paddy and cannot be implemented in vegetable crops other than home gardens where organic farming is promoted. There are many IPM trained farmers in the area; generally they use fewer pesticides than other farmers, but even these farmers when they are concerned about potential pests and diseases will use pesticides. The officer felt that it was common that farmers were unable to regularly attend an IPM field school as they are busy during the season. The officer felt that it has also been discouraging to farmers as the IPM master trainers (based in provincial office) rarely attend scheduled training programs. He felt it is better to have short courses where farmers can obtain adequate knowledge within short time period and implement it quickly. Assisting farmers to solve daily cropping problems;

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Nowadays, an AI has a large area of responsibility and the day to day problems of farmers should be handled by the politically appointed village men called Krupanisa*Agriculture Research and Production Assistant]. These officers do not have proper agriculture knowledge, beside sporadic trainings, they are mostly incapable of solving cropping problems and have lost the faith of farmers. They [Krupanisa] should work together with agriculture extension services to facilitate the passing of information and organizing trainings & demonstrations etc. However this officer feels that they only distribute benefits to a few closely related well-off farmers, and poorer and more isolated farmers are left out. An AI and a Krupanisas are employed by different departments [Dept. of Agrarian Service, Department of Agriculture) and so AI have no management responsibility for them. Up to 1989 the farm school trained field agriculture extension assistants were attached to each irrigation tract, with less than 600 farmers. During this period, this officer felt that they had a good rapport with farmers, the farmers adopted new farming techniques and were seen as impartial. This officer believes this is a short coming in the current system. This AI has made several attempts to directly call farmers meetings / trainings / demonstrations and farmer participation is high. However in order to promote farmers to adopt new things they need regular field monitoring and he is more office based now and that this is not prioritized. This officer identified several different farmers categories: Listening and learn from AIs; [5%] farmers with own lands [established farmers] and several young farmers. Copy successful farmers, dont believe AIs advices; most of the farmers, especially middle age and some farmers cultivating rented / leased lands. Farmers that dont listening to any, stand on their mind; most elder farmers. Do not listen to any and dont do anything in right way; usually losing farmers; Farmers do not concern on anything, do not participate in any thing; land less, poor farmers. Awareness about the current trends in pesticides market/ banning pesticides etc: This officer did not know about the impending banning of dimethoate, paraquat or fenthion. He believed that class 2 chemicals; clorifyriphos and carbofuran will be banned, as he had been given that information from IPM trainings several years back. AIs should update themselves with new information at the monthly progress review meetings at district head office. However he felt that little attention was paid to these as it often coincided with payday and officers rush home with salary to settle their loans. Pesticides company sales representative do not come to meet AI. They have direct contact with officers at the district level. They carry out their own field demonstrations, therefore AIs are not updated with new things other than what see in advertisements.

Observations: This officer did not feel the necessity of keeping up to date with new pesticides as hardly any farmer sought his help with pesticide recommendations. However several farmers we met talk positively about him as a person, as he explains well the crop problems in meetings and trainings. Farmers are very unlikely to visit him for advice as his office is very isolated from where farmers regularly go.

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When discussing pesticides he was visibly uncomfortable and gave vague answers about banning.

K-23; Additional District Secretary: This informant is a civil servant, who has good knowledge of self harm issues gained while working as divisional secretary in two divisions in NCP noted for self harm; Lankapura and Rajanganaya. In the previous roles several attempts were made to reduce self harm through public actions to restrict access to means of self harm and provide counselling for distressed people. Contents of the discussion: Farmers attitude; they have no fear of pesticides. Rajangana; high population density, population is 100% farmers, 100% of the lands in the area cultivated; no unutilized lands remain for expansion. This is unusual when comparing to other areas in NCP, where there are plenty of unutilized lands for expansion. Relatively better education facilities than other areas of NCP, majority of the young population passed middle school and many finished advance level, however they do not see any opportunities. Income and livelihood disparities are high. As new settlers all they begin life from same base, some hard working people have a comparatively better life. Youths having raised and educated together from childhood, see some of peers better-off, they have money, bikes and mobile phones. When poorer families are unable to provide such luxury to their youngsters, they became angry with parents and hate themselves for being poor. Usually adults in Rajangana spend a large part of the daytime at fields leaving youngsters alone in houses far away from the fields. There were numerous incidences of either sexual abuse or illegal affairs of young females left alone at home by close family relatives. This was a common cause of self-poisoning. Rajangana is an isolated patch of land with very poor access roads and similarly poor public transport. This officer had helped these young people through mobilizing staff at the DS office to assist them, there are about 30 job titles in a DS office assigned to go to villages and do specific jobs to help community. During her tenure at Lankapura and Rajangana, the officer had organized several champions to destroy oleander trees in locations where oleander poisoning was severe. The officer recalled there was a district planning meeting several years ago to destroy oleander trees attended by senior district administrators and doctors.

K-24; In-charge Provincial crop protection division + IPM trainers. 5 years ago, there were some IPM model villages assisted by the plant protection division, currently this program is not functioning. The 2 trained IPM officers are now mostly involved in office administration work and have less time for field work. Limited number of field officers [Agriculture Instructors] to cover all the area, usually one AI looks after for 4000 farmers.

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The head of this division [ADA] acts as the pesticides authorizing officer for the minor irrigation areas of the district. They have no access to printed pesticides recommendation guides since 1996, however the authorizing officer annually updates on changes at the annual conference. The authorizing officer is empowered to control the pesticides outlets in the district and there has been one legal case filed against a dealer selling expired pesticides. Banning pesticides; according to last year authorizing officers news this officer understood carbofuran and dimethoate will be banned. The officer felt that mostly pesticides are banned as farmers complain about their ineffectiveness. Recently farmers complained about the pesticides called mimik and it was investigated and this officer thought that this year that product might get banned.

K-25; Additional director- Agriculture a pesticides authorizing officer. This officer felt that pesticides were banned due to their residue effects such as Monocrotophos . The officer was aware of the dimethoate ban but it is still available in the market. There are dangerous pesticides that should be monitored by authorizing officer; but he is not aware of the list as he only recently got promoted and there is another ADA doing same job and they have not shared information. The officer had conducted investigations in several remote pesticides outlets selling expired products, and dealers not registered to sell pesticide. However he was unable to act against those dealers as he does not have an identity card or appointment letter to show his authority. There were two pesticides safe use promotion field trainings organized by two pesticides companied.

Observations / notes: There was evidence that information was not shared between officers that meant that current information about banning was not available to all agricultural officers and trainers.

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VII. DEALERS INTERVIEWS


Profile of the outlet:
Of the 25 outlets there were 11 rural and 14 urban outlets. The majority of outlets (52%) had been operating less than 5 years and the range of years operating varied from 1 year to 35 years. (See Figure 10)

Figure 10: Number of year operating pesticides outlets (n=25) Among the outlets, 15 shops sold pesticides as their main business and in the remaining 7 outlets pesticide was a secondary purpose of the business. Pesticides, fertilizer and seeds were sold in all most all of the outlets and nearly half of them also sold agricultural equipment. Only few of outlets sold non-agricultural items like hardware, cements, wall paints etc. (see Figure 11 ).

Figure 11: Sales items available at outlet (n=25) Although all the shops functioned throughout the year, most of the rural outlets were closed at least half of the day during the off season. In urban outlets many customers purchased pesticides on market days, after selling their vegetables. Almost all pesticide outlets offered pesticides for sale on credit and cash, although some shops did give credits to selected customers. The dealers used a variety of sources to obtain their pesticides depending on a range of factors. Outlets preferred to 73

obtain pesticides directly from company stores, because this enabled them to get bigger discounts. However the majority of the shops obtained pesticides through delivery agents as it was more convenient but less profitable. (Figure 12).

Figure 12: Dealers pesticides obtaining sources (n=25) A high percentage of the outlets (76%) were registered with the Department of Agriculture and had obtained a certificate to sell pesticides. Most of the unregistered outlets were rural outlets.

Profile of the dealers:


The majority of the dealers (80%) interviewed were males. Most outlets were registered, however it was observed that in many of the outlets someone else was directly involved in selling. "No advantage having a license to sell pesticides, because no customers ask to see the license before buying a pesticide, all see depends on the ability of the dealer, sometimes a dealer without a license sell more pesticides than a dealer having a license" Most of the respondents had less than 5 years of experience of pesticide selling ( Figure 13 ). Interviews were carried out with the person who had direct contact with the customers, either a shop owner (76%), a sales person (20%) or wife of the owner (4%). Of the all dealers interviewed, 64% of them had undergone the formal one day training program run annually by the Department of Agriculture and the Mahaweli Authority. Of the respondents very few dealers had participated in more than one training day, and there were very few outlets where more than one person had been trained. "Dealers are doing a great job, similar to doctors recommend medicine to patients we recommend pesticides to farmers, this is all why poor agricultural extension service Tam D 19

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Figure 13: Pesticides selling experience of respondents (pesticides dealers)(n=25)

Farmer Characteristics
The pesticide dealers identified and described different characteristics of their customers based on their pesticide selection behaviour. Although they added that customers were often found to have several of the characteristics. (a). Gender difference: Dealers felt that male customers asked the dealer for recommendations less often than female customers except in some circumstances when a female customer was asked to buy by male farmer, or in consultation with a senior or joint farmer. Dealers felt that male farmers depended less on the dealers when selecting pesticides whereas female were heavily reliant on their advice. Some male farmers and all most all female farmers normally ask for pesticide by pest, so dealers have to recommend for them, only experienced male farmers ask by pesticides by name. (b). Farmers age: Dealers felt that younger farmers were much more innovative and interested in new pesticides and also wanted to discuss with dealers their pest attacks whereas traditional farmers who were generally older did not trust the dealers as easily. Young farmers prefer to buy new products of pesticides" Most of the elderly farmers do not know / cannot remember pesticides names, so they use general terms like "eluk thel"*.
(* - Eluk is a particular type of weedicide, thel means pesticides in local language).

(c). Crop type: Dealers felt that paddy farmers were more likely to ask for pesticides by name as they are experienced in farming. Whereas vegetable farmers cultivate different crops and have different pest attacks regularly therefore they frequently visit dealers for advice and recommendations for pesticides. Vegetable farmers usually tell the dealer about the pests / symptoms / disease and ask 75

dealer for his/her recommendation and many brought samples of infected plants to outlet. This practise was common in Hambantota, and the urban dealers encouraged customers to bring plants to increase sales. Paddy farmers ask pesticides by name because they have lots of experience whereas vegetable farmers ask pesticides by pest..... (d). Experience: Dealers felt that more experienced farmers asked directly the name of the pesticide because they were confident of solving their problem without consulting somebody else. (e). Pesticide type: Dealers felt that there were differences in farmers selection of pesticide depending on the type of pesticide; insecticide or herbicide. Most customers when purchasing herbicides know what they want and they rarely ask for the dealers recommendation. But dealers introduced and recommended new herbicide varieties to farmers about 20% of the time. Also dealers highlighted that the reasons for the familiarity with herbicides was that every farmers would apply herbicides every season (as the farmers found manually cleaning of weeds was very expensive). But this is not the case when purchasing insecticides, where dealers are able to influence the customers decision. This was primarily because customers were unfamiliar with insecticides as there is a large variety of insecticides, a large diversity of pests and lack of information available. (f). Farmers Training: According to dealers it is hard to find farmer who has participated in an agriculture related training program. They felt that very few had IPM paddy training and no evidence of training in vegetable IPM. Lack of extension services is one of the major problem face by the farmers 4 D 16 (g). Trust: Some traditional farmers bring labels of known pesticides and ask the same pesticide and dealers felt this was because they do not trust dealers. They felt that the majority of these farmers were older farmers. Dealers felt that customers who trusted the dealer would ask for the pesticide by pest instead of name of the product. The majority of dealers (72%) felt that often or very often farmers follow the dealers recommendations; about 16% sometimes accepted dealers recommendation and 12% rarely accept dealers recommendations. most of farmers dont know about the new products, and I always try to save my customers money, so I recommend him best one at best price Tam D 18

Priorities of farmers when buying pesticides


In general, customers were more concerned with the effectiveness of the chemicals and the cost. The relative priority of these two factors varied significantly but generally paddy farmers were more concerned with cost whereas vegetable farmers were more concerned with effectiveness. Dealers

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felt that overall customers were more concerned about the cost. Also dealers felt that customers gave a very low priority to safety issues when selecting a pesticide. "Vegetable farmers prefer to buy high toxic chemicals whereas paddy farmers still think the cost, "Customer never thinks about human less toxic chemicals.

Knowledge of the farmers about colour cording system


In both study areas almost all dealers felt that customers had insufficient knowledge about the toxicity colour cording system on pesticide bottles. Also it was observed that some of the dealers did not fully understand the system.

Impact of IPM for the demand of pesticides


Dealers felt that customers had a range of ideas about IPM and some of them had not even heard about IPM. The majority of dealers felt that the demand for pesticides from paddy farmers has increased over the past few years whereas other dealers felt that demand has decreased among paddy farmers ( Figure 14)

. Figure 14: IPM impact on paddy farmers pesticide demand However, most of the dealers agreed that there was increased demand for pesticides among vegetable farmers. (Figure 15).

Figure 15: IPM impact on vegetable farmers pesticide demand 77

Dealers felt the reasons for the increased demand in pesticides for both paddy and vegetable was due to increased numbers of people cultivating, more pest attacks, and new hybrids which are more susceptible to pest attacks, farmers preference for quick results, new pesticides being more effective, and a recent increase in demand and therefore the increase in crop price. On the other hand some dealers felt that there was a decreased demand of pesticides especially among paddy farmers because of IPM. They felt that more farmers tended to use the minimum amount of pesticides, modern farmers had enough knowledge about pest and pest management and use pesticides more selectively, farmers used relatively less pesticides in paddy, new paddy varieties needed less pesticides and that many people had left agriculture. Overall, according to the dealers the impact of IPM has been very low in terms of their sales. They felt there was some impact in the demand for insecticides among paddy farmers, but no impact in sales for herbicides or for vegetable farmers. IPM not effective, probably it might suitable to wet zone, but not to the dry zone EMB D 11

Pesticide banning
Out of 25 dealers, 23 of them were aware about the recent pesticide banning and two dealers had no awareness of the recent banning. Dealers knowledge about each ban was Paraquat (87%) and Dimethoate (74%) respectively. However, none of the dealers had any knowledge of the impending banning of Fenthion. A small number of dealers stated that other products were banned (Figure 16). "Paraquat impending ban is a company/government trick" 4 D 12

Figure 16: Awareness of dealers about recent pesticide banning The majority of the dealers said that the source of their information about the recent bans was through chemical companies. The other sources include: media (TV & newspapers), labels of the products, through farmers and some from other pesticide outlets. However none of the dealers got their information about banning through government sources. Almost all the dealers stated that the recent pesticide bans were related to health issues or environmental issues or both. The majority of dealers (57%) felt that there were no effective substitutes for the products with impending bans. However other dealers felt that there was suitable availability of substitutes and some of the dealers could name the substitutes. In general, there was a large range of substitutes recommended by

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dealers for the same product. The majority of dealers (57%) had informed a few farmers about the ban. The rest of the dealers did not discuss with customers the impending bans. The dealers answers varied significantly in response to the question about when a customer asked about a banned product. This included passing information about banning or non-availability, recommending a substitute, and selling the reduce concentration. According to the dealers the customers reaction to being informed of the ban was firstly to try another outlet, then to buy the recommended substitute, thirdly to go away, fourthly buy another product of their own choice or finally buy the reduced formula (for Paraquat). 42% of dealers (n = 24) kept extra stocks of products that were soon to be banned so they felt that they could earn extra money during and after the banned period. The dealers idea was that once the ban product is removed from the market they can make additional profit if they maintain a stock. Most dealers were not interested to keep extra stocks as they did not have enough money.

Impact of banning
The majority of dealers felt that the impending bans would no impact on their business or there would only be a slightly negative impact. There was mixed opinion about the impact of bans on farmers. One dealer stated that "If pesticides have been banned then farmers cannot cultivate because labour cost higher than pesticides. The dealers felt that the disadvantages for famers were that farmers would have to buy more expensive products, that they are reliant on pesticides to control pests, farmers may need to apply more pesticides, and the lack of alternatives. "If pesticide are impending ban, farmers have to buy to expensive chemicals, but some of farmers cannot afford the prices" The dealers had no negative attitudes towards the banning as they felt it would result in a reduction in the number of poisonings. The majority of dealers felt that there were no people in the community who wanted bans on pesticides. But one dealer said that companies producing organic pesticides were interested to have bans of the non-organic chemicals and another dealer said that one monk is conducting Buddhist programs and introducing traditional methods to control pest close to his shop. The majority of dealers (84%) were interested in methods to phase out pesticides incrementally and felt that customers needed 6-12 months to find a suitable alternative.

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Results of dealer interviews


All types of dealers (rural, urban, registered and unregistered) were concerned about selling pesticides to high risk customers. More than 90% of the dealers had previous experience of recognising at desperate buyers. An experienced urban dealer had identified more than 100 desperate buyers during his career. Types of Customers According to dealers, there are different characteristics of customers and these characteristics were important in identifying high risk buyers. Sometimes a desperate buyer was a combination of several of the categories. (a). Farmers & non- farmers type: Generally farmers have a good knowledge about crop and pesticide application so they can easily buy pesticides from outlets. Although dealers questioned them at times about their purchase they have enough knowledge of agriculture for it to be difficult for a dealer to recognise distress. Whereas a customer who was not a farmer generally had little knowledge of pesticides and so they may find it hard to buy pesticides through dealers. (b).Gender: Usually, male farmers visit shops to buy pesticides whereas rarely females are purchasing pesticides. Similarly, often male customers ask for pesticides by name while female customers ask for pesticide by disease, or come to the shop with a note from a male farmer. Therefore, according to dealers normally, they were more careful when selling pesticides to female customers. (c). Age: Most of the dealers did not want to sell pesticides to children less than 18 years old. Although there were times when teenage children visited shops to buy pesticides with a note from their family. Some dealers felt that there were young people around 18 years old who were involved in farming and therefore selling pesticides to them was appropriate. (d). Regular customers: Normally pesticide dealers did not suspect regular customers who visit their shops as they visit frequently. But dealers were more aware of possible problems when new customers asked for pesticides. In rural outlets since number of pesticide buyers is limited, normally the dealer personally knows almost all of his/her customers but in urban outlets a large number of customers visit daily, therefore there is always a number of unknown customers. High risk buyers never come with plant samples (e). Alcohol: Almost all dealers were reluctant to sell pesticides to customers under the influence of alcohol. Characteristic and features of high risk pesticide buyers According to dealers there were a number of characteristics which alerted them to high risk buyers. Dealers felt that they normally these buyers exhibited at least one or more of following characteristics. 80

Strange facial expressions such as sadness or anger Perspiration Nervousness Shyness Dirty or disheveled Aggressive Garbled speech Trembling

Dealers also felt that they could identify high risk customers by how they approached and interacted with the dealer. These could be roughly broken down into four phases of the buying process. Table 07: Pesticides buying process; important observations to identify high risk pesticides buyers 1. Approach to the shop People coming to the shop with a baby Parking away from the shop when coming to buy the pesticide Buying at odd times of the day Customers who have an illness or disability 2. Initial interaction with the dealer Unnecessary hurry to buy pesticides Ask for whatever pesticide In a hurry to pay for their purchase Difficulty in answering the dealers questions Ask for a common crop and then ask for a pesticide Asking for a herbicide out of season Asking pesticides for unusual crop varieties Asking for a small pesticide bottle Pointing only to the bottle 3. Interaction with dealer after questioning Customer becomes argumentative Lack of knowledge Asking for the strongest pesticide Inconsistent answers Ask for products to self harm Asking for someone else Dont want to talk to the dealer Crying Hide the pesticide after purchase

4. After purchase

Difficulties in identification Almost all pesticide dealers agreed that there was a particular group of customers were hard to recognise as high risk buyers. Some customers who come in a moment of anger and ask for 81

pesticides can easily be recognised whereas another group of customers hide their feelings well. According to pesticide dealers the following five types of customers were hard to recognize from legitimate customers. Regular customers Experienced farmers Farmers who ask for pesticide by name Well planned suicide attempts Customers who use someone to buy them on their behalf

Differences between male and female desperate buyers A few dealers felt that there were no differences by gender of people who try to access pesticides through dealers. But the majority of dealers could describe in detail differences between male and female high risk buyers. Male high risk buyers: Some male customers who were under the influence of alcohol were easily recognized. Some of them show very aggressive behaviour during their attempt to purchase pesticides, such as trying to grab a bottle or arguing with the dealer. These customers have a strong mind, are in an unnecessary rush to buy pesticides, have a high voice and if they are a non-farmer show a pesticide on the shelves and ask it. Another group of desperate buyers is hard to recognize as they not under the influence by alcohol and can answer questions posed by the dealer. They appear like most of the other customers. Female high risk buyers: Most of the high risk female buyers express their sadness or it is possible to see their sad feelings. Often female buyers appear frightened, they are less talkative, and they come to the shop alone or with a baby. Some of these customers even cry and ask directly for pesticides to harm themselves and so there are no difficulties for the dealer to recognize. Some high risk buyers come at unusual times such as late at night, early morning, or lunch time. If the dealer suspects the customer and starts to ask questions usually the customer will start to cry or just run away from the shop. But another group of female buyers are very tactical and extremely hard to identify them. They appear friendly and can easily mislead dealers. Practical difficulties for the dealers Pesticide dealers felt that there were some practical difficulties when trying to recognize high risk buyers. 1. Lack of proper training to recognize a high risk buyer. Most of the dealers developed their own mechanisms to distinguish a desperate buyer from a legitimate customer, but still most of the dealers felt that on a few occasions they sold pesticides to the wrong customers. 2. Lack of support from agricultural services for farmers. Farmers rely on pesticide dealers/outlets for information about their problems related to crops or pests. Dealers therefore have to spend a significant amount of time testing products to understand which ones to recommend. So dealers feel that they do not have enough time to pay attention to each customer. 82

3. Urban pesticide outlets are very busy with up to 300 400 customers per day; therefore it is difficult to pay attention to each customer individually as they have very short time to allocate for each customer. We have a lots of customers per day, we do not have much time to consider each and every person whether he / she going to self- harm or not 4. In many urban outlets there are several sales people so they are not all trained. Dealers felt there may be a high chance to misrecognition of a desperate buyer by an untrained sales person. 5. There are a number of customers who come to the shop under the influence of alcohol. However this does not always mean they are high risk and so it is difficult for the dealer to decide if they wish or wish not to self-harm 6. If the dealer decides not to sell pesticides to a customer under the influence of alcohol usually he starts to make noise then disturbance to business. So to avoid that some dealers tried to sell less toxic pesticide or liquid fertilizer to them. 7. Usually farmers are very busy especially during the season, so there are sometimes problems of having enough time to question a regular customer. 8. Dealers who know customers well personally, do not feel comfortable to question customers as they are afraid this will harm their relationship with the customer which is bad for business. 9. In the agricultural season, farmers are busy and so send female family members or children to buy pesticides. 10. Male dealers felt uncomfortable asking female customers too many personal questions and female dealers felt uncomfortable asking male customers questions for cultural reasons, especially in rural outlets. Strategies of dealers after recognising high risk buyers Dealers identified a range of responses they had to high risk buyers: Acting as a counsellor: Often female sales people became informal counsellors, willing to spend time and listen to the problems of the customer. They tried to handle the situation by talking calmly and trying to emphasise the importance of living. However none of dealers are trained as counsellors and they have developed their own skills. Although some of the urban dealers felt they could only listen to high risk customers if the shop was not busy. Only intervening within their premises: These dealers are not selling or allowing high risk customers to take pesticides from their shops and often chase the customers. However they do not care whether the customer buys the pesticides from next shop. These dealers only interest is to prevent selling to high risk customers in their own shop. Further these dealers do not pass on the information and warn nearby outlets or family members. I am very careful not selling pesticides to high risk buyers, if they access some other place no problem for me

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Warning other nearby dealers and family members: These dealers not only try to intervene in their own shop but also try to warn nearby dealers by phone or sending someone. If the dealer knew the customer personally, then he/she would immediately inform other family members. Taking the money from the customer: Some dealers felt that if they could get the customers money by force, at least for few days, this would prevent access in another shop. Do not sell and chase the desperate buyers: This is the most common type of dealers. The dealers threaten the customers and ask them to go away from the shop. They are not interested to talk further to the desperate customers. Some dealers physically threaten these customers to prevent them coming back, often they talk to the customer angrily or tell them to go way from the shop. Some dealers said they have asked others to help chase the person from the shop. Suggesting to come back the following day: Some dealers asked the customer politely to come another day to buy pesticides, if they had concerns. If the customer asked why?, then they would directly tell them your mood is not so good today so come tomorrow or otherwise ask somebody else in the home come and buy pesticides I am not selling pesticides after 6 pm, even for a well known customer, ask to come following day Inform the Police: Some dealers said they would send the customer to police station. These dealers believed that this is a responsibility of the police. Selling non toxic products Some dealers felt that at times they could not refuse to sell pesticides so without refusing they would sell a non-toxic product which was a higher price. This way the dealer did not have to confront the customer but also they were not going to be able to cause too much damage. This is also a favourable approach for the dealer as the product they sell is high price. Some dealers said they also use this method to get drunken customers to leave. Dealers perception of the current government training programs The interviews were carried out with both registered and unregistered outlets, however only registered outlet owners can participate in dealer training programs. Most of the dealers were not happy with the current training programs run by the government because these programs are not run very often at irregular occasions. Further, some of the dealers added that regarding suicide, the training only highlights the problem and they are not given any information or training in how to recognise people with suicide thoughts. Therefore, some of them emphasized that their own concern is the most important thing in preventing access to pesticides for high risk buyers. Some dealers felt that effective training and awareness programs may help to minimize selling pesticides 84

to high risk buyers whereas another group of dealers felt that training programs cannot do much to impact on the problem. They felt that it was an impossible task to train the dealers and this has led to dissatisfaction with the training programs. Some of the dealers recommended that the outcomes of this research could be presented in a drama or video programs which could be used for training purposes. Community reaction to dealers There was no evidence of any reaction or penalties from the community or family members if dealers sold to people who attempted self harm. But sometimes, family members had come to the dealer to ask which pesticide he or she had sold to the person as it was important for medical reasons. Dealers suggestions regarding support for suicidal people Several suggestions forwarded by dealers regarding the support needed to suicidal people thinking about buying pesticides. They include; Responsible selling by dealers Counselling programs (mental health programs) should be introduced Depressed patients should be directed to counselling programs More comprehensive dealers training programs Increase the price of chemicals which are toxic for humans Other family members should play a role. Satisfactory medical care

Other suggestions to reduce poisoning Proper dealers and farmers awareness programs chemical company involvement is essential Introduce a farmer identity card system Dealers have different ideas about this approach. Some rural dealers do not agree with this as they personally know more than 70 80 % of their customers. Some dealers feel an ID is not practical because the farmer is not the only person who visits the shop to buy pesticides and they also believe that the ID holder could still be a high risk buyer. Introduce a prescription method There was mixed reactions to this method. Some dealers felt that the person who prescribes definitely should be agricultural inspectors or govi niyamaka, or a local agricultural person in the village. Other dealers felt that this was not practical for a small-scale farmer. Banning human toxic chemicals or reduce concentration Farmers economy should be developed Establishing a proper agricultural extension service is the most important approach Control or legal action against illegal alcohol producers as this is the main reason for domestic violence and suicide Improve dealer training programs and add how to recognize desperate buyers Government, police and agricultural department should come together and implement policies regarding safe selling of pesticides. Introduce organic pesticides and fertilizers

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VIII. MEDIA ANALYSIS


There were 230 newspapers scanned for key words and a total of 221 articles met the criteria. In July there were 54 articles and August 167. The reduced number of articles appearing in July was probably due to the provincial elections being held. In the study period there were no articles about the recent pesticide bans. Some of the articles represented the same story published in different newspapers on different days.

Article classification

Figure 17: July & August media articles classification according to themes The majority of articles were agricultural related (37%) in that they described agricultural practice that referred to use of pesticides and the only one article was found related to occupational exposure. In 14 articles in July were references made to agriculture in political speeches.

Self harm Articles


As seen in Figure 18 in the articles where they described an incident of self harm the most common methods identified were the following: Hanging and poisoning (34%), Shooting (9%) and Drowning (8%).

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Figure 18: Themes of poisoning articles Reasons identified for self harm Figure 19 shows the main reasons for self harm identified in the articles; disappointment and problems in relationships were the major reasons given for self-harm with 33% and 32% respectively. Other reasons cited were terrorist self-harm, health issues and family problems.

Figure 19: Reasons for self harm Self-harm incident by paper There were more articles related to suicide found in Sinhala press in comparison to English language press. 69 articles mentioned the suicide method out of 221 articles with keywords including 9 in Dinamina, 24 in Lankadeepa, 31 in Divaena and 5 in Daily News. See Figure 20.

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Figure 20: Self-harm articles by newspaper The headings of the articles in Sinhala press are more attractive / descriptive & sometimes used the method of suicide to the heading in an attractive way and give more details regarding the way of committing suicide. Also it was observed that when describing the same story the coverage in the Sinhala press was more graphic.

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IX.

BASELINE DATA FROM HOSPITALS

Baseline data of all poisoning admissions were collected by qualified medical research assistants in the General Hospitals in Galle, Hambantota and Matara. Data collection began in October 2007 and continued for 15 months until December 2008. The data was collected retrospectively from hospital records and prospectively from bed head tickets.

Admissions
The overall pattern for admission varies considerably between the three hospitals. However the data highlights the rising number of admissions due to ingestion of prescription medicines. The total number of admissions during the study period was 3526.

Figure 21: Hambantota Admissions for Poisoning The total number of admissions over the study period was 1040. The mean number of admissions per month in Hambantota over the 15 months was 69.333 with a range of 62-85 and pesticides and plants were the most common causes of poisoning.

Figure 22: Matara Admissions for poisoning Oct 06-Dec 08

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The total number of admissions over the study period was 991. The mean number of admissions in Matara over the15 months was 70 with a range of 41-98 and medicines and other substances were the most common causes of poisoning.

Figure 23: Galle Admissions for poisoning The total number of admissions over the study period was 1436. The mean number of admissions per month in Galle over the 15 months was 95.7333 with a range of 75-115 and medicines and pesticides were the most common causes of poisoning.

Deaths
The total number of deaths for the entire Southern Province during the 15 month study period was 178, which represents about 5% of admissions for poisoning. The highest number of deaths was recorded in Matara 71, followed by Galle 66, and Hambantota 41. Deaths in Galle are generally dropping and in Matara and Hambantota have stayed stable throughout the period.

Figure 24: Total poisoning Deaths; Oct 07 - Dec 08

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Admission to ICU
During the study period there were 102 admissions to ICU which represents 2.94% of all admissions for poisoning. Hambantota had the highest number of admission (44), followed by Galle (34) and Matara (24).

Figure 25: Admission to ICU Oct 07- Dec 08

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X.

DISCUSSION

A. Behavioural influences on decision making


The main findings from this study indicate that there is a complex set of factors that operate to influence farmer decisions making with regard to pesticide purchasing. Reflecting back on the behavioural model which informed the study there is a range of inter-related factors which influence a farmers intention which can then be further influenced by moderators and resources as highlighted in Figure 26.

Figure 26: Important factors in decision making identified in Surveys in Hambantota and Anuradhapura Districts External influences The external variables, which included both individual characteristics of the farmer and environmental factors that were most influential for farmers were experience, education, age, gender, crop price, and availability of water, size of farm, ownership of cropping lands, crop pattern, habit and individual values and goals of the farmer. This reflect the characteristics observed by Schlosser in Jamaica (Schlosser 1999). One aspect not previously discussed widely and that was very prominent with the farmers studied here was the crop price and income which could be generated from the crop. Attitudes Attitudes included both the cognitive aspects (advantages and disadvantages) and an affective component which includes feelings and emotions about the behaviour. The cognitive elements are generally where most educational and marketing campaigns are aimed. Very few interventions with farmers also address the affective component which plays an equally significant role. The main influences found with the group studied here were effectiveness and crop protection, strength, absence of concern about safety (all aspects occupational, accidental and intentional), passive response to the bans, product loyalty and distrust. These factors, which were seen as important for

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farmers within our study group, reveal that if you are interested in changing behaviour both aspects must be considered. Perceived Norms Perceived norms included the concepts of social norms (ones perception of what others did), moral norms (what internal ethical beliefs an individual holds) and descriptive norms (is the perceived prevalence in the community). The most prominent feature within our study group was the issue of trust. People were generally mistrustful of others; they felt that they could not fully trust any of the different people within their community. Fewer people did trust and value advice and support given from others. This meant that community interactions people were concerned about what others were doing and this was either overt or covert. Many farmers employed tactics of subterfuge to ensure that others could not learn from them. This was especially prominent in the Southern Province. There were a minority of farmers who farmed and were guided by principles enshrined in their religious beliefs and this was applied to their farming and decision making in regards to pesticides. Perceived Control Perceived control incorporated the concepts of self efficacy and facilitating factors. This was a central component that governed farmers behaviour. The main source of self efficacy was through experience and education to a lesser extent. While the majority of farmers felt they had sufficient knowledge and experience to manage their crops, there were instances where they faced a new pest or disease or the method they employed was not successful. At these times they reached out to other members of the community and had various levels of trust and distrust of the different people. Farmers generally felt they had adequate resources to deal with pests or disease where links were strong with others. However the majority of farmers mistrusted others and meant that farmers developed complex strategies to mitigate advice which they considered could not be trusted. Intentions The main influences on the intentions of farmers in our study were pest/disease, price, familiarity, effectiveness, quantity and convenience as seen in Figure 27 .

Figure 27: Factors influencing Intention 93

Moderators and Resources Even after a farmers intention was formed there were still possible moderators or resources which change their intention before the behaviour. The important elements identified by the farmers were pest/disease, crop price, and availability of an alternative to a banned product, information, trust, suspicion, risk and weather. These factors in a sense are the most alterable. Farmers within both of our study areas altered their behaviour when they had an unknown pest or disease. This was evidenced through the relationship with a dealer in a nearby main centre. While they had great respect and trust in the dealer, they did not use him for regular everyday purchases but made the additional journey and expense when there was a threat to the crop which they felt unable to resolve. Vegetable farmers often bought pesticides following sales of their crops at the market. If they had a good or bad return this influenced how much they reinvested in pesticides on a given day despite what they may have intended to buy before they went to market. The availability of a replacement for a banned product was a very important consideration for farmers. They were less likely to support the bans if they thought there was no suitable replacement. The weather and availability of water was a very important factor that moderated a farmers willingness to spend on pesticides. Especially in areas where they had unstable access to irrigation or were reliant on rain. The investment in pesticides was directly linked to their faith in the viability of the crop to produce income. Some farmers were influenced by information available either through marketing, extension services or dealers, however the influence of these factors depended on the level of trust they had in the source of the information. Drivers of decision making Overall the most prominent factor that operated for the farmer was price. However the concept of price was more complicated than a simple rationalisation of the specific price of the pesticide. The concept of price and its influence over farmers decision is a complex interplay of various aspects as seen in Figure 28. The three interrelated factors of price, income a farmer receives from his/her crop and the perceived effectiveness of the product are the key drivers in determining the importance of price. The income a farmer receives for his produce on a given day determines the price he is willing to spend on pesticides on that day. The prices paid for crops vary daily and thus the income a farmer makes from his crop on any particular day varies. Additionally if the price that he can receive from a particular crop for example capsicum is high in that area because of demand or supply reasons this influences the decisions he takes with regards pesticide application. The most common form of this is the risk taking farmer who tries new varieties in his/her crop pattern to achieve the highest yield. These farmers were more likely to spend higher amounts on pesticides as the net benefit was considered acceptable. This reflects the conclusions found by Wilson and Tisdell who found that farmers in countries like Sri Lanka were locked in economically to pesticide use (Wilson and Tisdell 2001). The economic considerations about crop price and value of their yield tie farmers into willingness to use and spend on pesticides. The second concept which is crucially important in understanding price is effectiveness. The perceived effectiveness of a product is closely linked to the price a farmer is willing to pay. Crop protection was a main motivating factor for any pesticide purchase but was especially linked to the 94

idea of effectiveness. A common form of this was for farmers to say that they buy the most effective pesticide for the cheapest price. A farmers idea about what an effective pesticide was an important linked concept.

Figure 28: Drivers of decision making Farmers generally used their own experience to determine whether they believed a product was effective. In turn experience was also linked to habit and familiarity. Where a farmer tried a product and decided it was effective, then they started to use it consistently and become so familiar with it they then attached special significance to a particular product and developed loyalty to that product. Additional factors as seen in Figure 28 that affected the price farmers were willing to pay for pesticides which were less prominent than the other features were convenience, trust and pest. Convenience was a motivator for the price a farmer is willing to pay for a pesticide. This was most expressed through distance and quantity. A farmer regularly made decisions based on the distance to the dealer and the price paid for the pesticides. This was pronounced in Hambantota because of the relatively few dealers operating throughout the farming systems. However even in Anuradhapura District there where there was a high density of dealers, farmers were still making this trade-off between price and distance. The quantity of pesticide to be purchased was a similar but related factor in that people were often willing to travel further if they were buying more from a cheaper outlet. The idea is also expressed through farmers also negotiating a better price with an individual dealer if they were buying more. The role of the pest or disease was also central to what price farmers were willing to pay and not unrelated to perceived effectiveness. The type of pest or disease and weather it was a known or unknown was central to decision about price. This was most commonly portrayed by the farmers if 95

they did not have enough knowledge about the pest or had been unsuccessful in getting rid of it they would be forced to pay whatever was necessary to save their crop. Linked to this idea was also the trust and specifically of the dealer. A farmer was more likely to decide to purchase an expensive pesticide early on if they trusted the dealers recommendation. However for the majority of farmers who were skeptical about dealers they tried several strategies first before accepting the highest priced pesticide. This complex interaction of these factors mean that although price is the most important concept in farmers decision making about pesticides it does not operate alone. This is reflected in past attempts to modify farmers behaviour with economic incentives (Feder, Just et al. 1985). The adoption of innovations in farming have failed to gain the expectations because although price and economic rationalism is a motivating factor for decision making, it is heavily influence by a range of other behavioural components seen in figure 3. The centrality of price to farmers decision warrants additional attention to how this could be most meaningfully addressed in an intervention to reduce pesticide use. From our analysis it would seem the most likely area where price could be influenced is in conjunction with an intervention that focused on crop price as well. The differences observed in the reduction of pesticide use in paddy rather than vegetable crops have often been linked to the impact of IPM and FFS programs (Van den Berg, Senerath et al. 2002). It is possible that the combined impact of crop price protection of paddy and training around IPM could explain this variation. Many of the farmers were not aware of IPM or received training but were generally using fewer insecticides in paddy and as noted previously the widespread use of herbicides in paddy has not been impacted by FFS (Tripp, Wijeratne et al. 2005). If crop price is so intrinsically linked to price as a determining factor in pesticide selection then it stands to reason that securing a livelihoods threshold for vegetable crops along with price manipulation of pesticides may in fact be more likely to succeed in changing farmer behaviour. The role of effectiveness also holds promise for shifting behaviour, although possibly not as markedly as price. Farmers most often linked effectiveness to the perceived strength of the product. Farmers paid attention to the colour coding and chemical strength as very important information for their decision making. The connected strong chemical with the idea of effectiveness and there interest in the compound and toxicity was in no way related to concerns about safety. One farmer even went so far as to taste each bottle he bought to ensure that it was strong enough. The frequently mix, add and try anything to increase the strength of the pesticide. However very few farmers were aware that some of the newer pesticides available were more effective and one could hypothesise that this is related to their reduced toxicity. It is possible that the colour coding and information about the concentration of chemicals has a negative impact on purchasing safer chemicals. The other aspects of habit and familiarity seemed unlikely to be amenable to change unless there is resistance to its effectiveness.

B. Sources on information
The sources of information are a crucial element in explaining the difficulties faced by farmers and the strategies that the employ to mitigate their lack of control and empowerment. The flow of information to farmers concerning pesticides and other aspects of farming is severely limited. The main source of information to farmers is from dealers and by proxy companies. Farmers did 96

recognise the paradox this places the farmer in. A dealer is motivated by profit and sales and yet they also have some role in assisting the farmer to select the correct solution to his/her problem. The links between companies and dealers are viewed widely with suspicion and this is further exacerbated by the opaque system of discount, commission and stated price which modify the price paid on any particular day. Given the dependence in farming communities to rely on dealers for information, greater attention needs to be given to the nature of the information they are providing and how greater transparency can be made so that farmers can develop trust in the credibility of the information. The role of agriculture officers in farming communities was polarised. Some people, generally with established links, were extremely satisfied with the services provided. These people generally attended trainings, got regular advice and were given opportunities that other farmers did not have. This led to farmers who did not have good links with agricultural officers to become suspicious and resentful of the equity issues. Additionally the links between agriculture officers and agrochemical companies were a source of widespread suspicion. The information provided by agriculture officers was generally valued however the cuts to the extension services coupled with the decentralisation of services has led to a reduction in the effectiveness and knowledge held within these services. The relative credibility but underutilisation of the telephone advice service run out of the Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya suggests that farmers still value independent and impartial advice and consideration of how this service could be expanded warrants attention. There were generally favourable attitudes towards banning and it was most often expressed as support for the government in taking action to reduce environmental and health impacts. It can be surmised that in general farmers were amenable to regulation if they believed it was for the good of the country. This attitude has been seen in other aspects of Sri Lankan life where people have been accepting of the authority of government (bureaucracy not politicians) acting for the greater good. Support and information from other farmers also threw up mixed attitudes towards the relative reliability and credibility of the information they got from others. Farmers often talked about have general discussions with other farmers but the extent to which this provided a credible or reliable source of information for the farmer was not completely apparent. Farmers sometimes tried the suggestions of others but we only found a few instances where they relied on others for assistance with farming information. Farmers were more prepared to trust others when they had an unknown pest or had been unsuccessful with several applications of pesticides. This suggests that while they do talk with other farmers about their crops and pest, they are not generally seen as a source of information. This mirrors the findings in another study of Field farmers school in Southern Sri Lanka (Tripp, Wijeratne et al. 2005) which found that there was little transmission of knowledge between neighbouring farmers. The medias influence in terms of farming decisions including pesticide selection was relatively underutilised. Some farmers watched the agricultural programs shown late in the evening and those farmers who did watch them generally found them useful and informative. Several years ago there was a Mahaweli sponsored radio program running in system H in the Anuradhapura District. However we found no evidence of this continuing to be a source of information to farmers in this area. This suggests that there is a potential to explore the expansion of such programming to cover a varied range of topics to provide more information to farmers. 97

Trust has been a central issue in all of the discussions around where people got their information from. In general people interviewed from Hambantota had strong feelings of trust towards and against various groups in the community. All of their relationships appear to be entwined with the issue and most people defined their relationship with someone by the dislike of someone else. In Anuradhapura District this was not so pronounced however it did still operate to a lesser extent. The profile and history of violence in the two areas may be significant in examining the reasons for the more pronounced issues of trust in Hambantota. The overall impression that is created by the information we analysed was that farmers were mostly isolated and disempowered. They had difficulty in finding accurate and impartial information which caused them to develop suspicion and mistrust of the various people they have contact with in the community. Consequently farmers often resorted to developing a range of strategies to mitigate the interests of others. This was evidenced through their use of multiple sources of information to cross check information, trying to develop friendships or partnerships with agricultural officers, and developing loyalty with dealers and other farmers.

C. Impact of safety measures


Like many previous reports on the use of safety measures in farming communities our study showed that there is little concern or interest in safety (Pingali and Roger 1995; Sivayoganathan, Gnanachandran et al. 1995; Atkin and Leisinger 2000; Yassin, Mourad et al. 2002; Atreya 2007; Matthews 2007). This applied to attitudes to safety from occupational exposure, accidental poisoning and intentional poisoning although the perceived threat to individual families was conceived differently. With occupational exposure most farmers showed little concern for their own well-being even though they were fully aware of the dangers. In relation to accidental poisoning families, and often women took some responsibility for ensure that small children did not have access to pesticides but the measures taken were not usually adequate. In relation to intentional poisoning most people thought that the likelihood of it happening in their family was remote and therefore did not consider this to be relevant to them. The generalised perception of immunity both physical and social from poisoning clearly indicates that safety messages, from both health and agriculture, have had little impact on community attitudes. It appeared early on during the study that there was a gender dimension to attitudes and perceptions towards safety. While there was a notable difference in the recognition of safety concerns, further focus on how this translated into behaviour in the latter parts of the study revealed that this heightened awareness did not necessarily lead to improved application of safety measures. Even in household where women voiced concern about pesticides, they often did not have them in locked away or out of reach of children and women farmers were no more likely to employ safety measures when spraying.

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XI.

AREAS FOR FURTHER ACTION

Recommendations for further action


The aim was to develop a greater understanding of the individual and community level determinants of pesticide usage and decision-making, to understand the role dealers and the community could play in prevention, and to devise strategies to prevent intentional poisoning or reduce the risk of death from poisoning that would be acceptable in the community. This study has highlighted a number of areas where improvements could be made. Lack of information Given the dependence in farming communities to rely on dealers for information, greater attention needs to be given to the nature of the information they provide and how greater transparency can be made so that farmers can develop trust in the credibility of the information. The lack of reliable and credible information available within farming communities suggests a number of improvements could be made. Recommendation 1 Additional support should be given to agricultural information services especially the telephone service run out of Peradeniya. Awareness of the service could be promoted to extension officers to enhance their opportunities to access information. Recommendation 2 Support for media outlets to provide agricultural information in the evenings for farmers to access.

Recommendation 3 Provision of information to farmers regarding the bans and alternatives recommended by the Department of Agriculture. Recommendation 4 Further monitoring of media guidelines to ensure compliance with the code of conduct. Recommendation 5 Continued sentinel monitoring of hospital admissions for poisoning would provide ongoing information about any transition to other poisoning agents. Community Safety The lack of concern about safety highlights the need to raise community awareness of safety. The importance of effectiveness of pesticides for farmers also holds promise for shifting behaviour. It is possible that the colour coding and information about the concentration of chemicals has a negative impact on purchasing safer chemicals. In our study dealers identified additional areas where training could be enhanced to recognise and support people who are suicidal. 99

Recommendation 6 Improved information about toxicity provided on the label.

Recommendation 7 Joint training between health and agriculture, for dealers to highlight aspects of suicide and prevention. Recommendation 8 Future health safety programs need to provide rationale for the community of the importance of safety.

Areas for further study


This study of the influence on farmer decision making in pesticide selection and community safety has pointed to other areas for further investigation. Price The importance of price to farmers decision needs additional attention as to how this could be most meaningfully addressed in an intervention to reduce pesticide use. From our analysis it would seem the most likely area where price could be influenced is in conjunction with an intervention that focused on crop price as well. The direct impact of the income a farmer makes from his crop on his decision to spend on pesticides suggests the need to explore price thresholds to change behaviour. Assessments of the impact of a trial to reduce the use of pesticides through a price guarantee system.

Prevention The attitudes and behaviours of farmers would suggest that the availability of storage devices in the field could lead to a significant improvement in safety. The usual practice of leaving pesticides in the field is driven by convenience and especially where the fields are some distance from the home. Farmers would be more likely to lock them in the field because of concerns about theft than prevention of poisoning. Storage in the home continues to provide challenges to individual farmers beliefs about safety and prevention of poisoning. A generalised lack of concern about safety within the home lends support for the storage of pesticides in the field. Future trials of safe storage should include devices in the field and an evaluation of the impact on accessibility to pesticides needs to be undertaken.

Another key area highlighted by our study of possible prevention in the community is the role and responsibility of dealers towards safety. In general the community did not feel that the dealer had any role to play in safety and therefore there continues to be no incentive for dealers to consider this above their sales. The dealers provided a number of useful strategies which could form the basis of training to dealers and sales people about how to deal with high risk buyers in the shop.

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Accessing pesticides for self harm through dealers remains a problem in the community. A trial of training and safety for dealers which includes identifying high risk buyers and providing effective strategies needs to be assessed further.

1. Atkin, J. and K. M. Leisinger (2000). Safe and Effective Use of Crop Protection Products in Developing Countries, London: UK CABI Publishing. 2. Atreya, K. (2007). "Pesticide use knowledge and practices: A gender differences in Nepal." Environmental Research 104(2): 305-311. 3. Feder, G., R. Just, et al. (1985). "Adoption of agricultural innovations in developing countries: A survey." Economic Development and Cultural Change: 255-298. 4. Matthews, G. A. (2007). "Attitudes and behaviours regarding use of crop protection productsA survey of more than 8500 smallholders in 26 countries." Crop Protection. 5. Pingali, P. L. and P. A. Roger (1995). Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health and the Rice Environment, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
6.

Schlosser, T. C. (1999). "Local Realities and Structural Constraints of Agricultural Health: Pesticide
Poisoning of Jamaican Small-holders."

7. Sivayoganathan, C., S. Gnanachandran, et al. (1995). "Protective measure use and symptoms among agropesticide applicators in Sri Lanka." Social Science & Medicine 40(4): 431-436. 8. Tripp, R., M. Wijeratne, et al. (2005). "What should we expect from farmer field schools? A Sri Lanka case study." World Development 33(10): 1705-1720. 9.
Van

den Berg, H., H. Senerath, et al. (2002). Participatory IPM in Sri Lanka: A Broad-Scale and an In-Depth Impact Analysis, Report prepared for the FAO Programme for Community IPM in Asia. Wageningen, The Netherlands.

10. Wilson, C. and C. Tisdell (2001). "Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs." Ecological Economics 39(3): 449-462. 11. Yassin, M. M., A. Mourad, et al. (2002). "Knowledge, attitude, practice, and toxicity symptoms associated with pesticide use among farm workers in the Gaza Strip." Occupational & Environmental Medicine 59(6): 387.

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APPENDIX 1: Village Characteristics Hambantota Villages


Village 1: Barawakumbuka Irrigation settlement on the Ratnapura Nonagama Rd famous for its banana market. Total population of 2,156 mainly employed in agriculture on small farms of about 1-2 acres. Crops are predominantly paddy, banana and vegetables. There is a main market which most farmers use for their needs.

Barawakumbuka is an irrigation settlement on the Ratnapura Nonagama main road; its famous
for its Banana market. Farmers here grow predominantly banana, paddy and other vegetable crops. Almost all the farmers in the village buy all of their inputs needs [seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, equipments hire, and spare parts] from the village centre with maximum distance to travel about 1.5km and sell their produce at the village market or to middlemen at the farm gate. This area was resettled in 1974 when it was first irrigated, 53 farmers were part of the resettlement. Each farmer was given 2 acre land for farming and acre land for house. Today the cropping land has increased to some 340 acres by expanding and utilizing of reserved lands. Today, there are 408 family units, with total population of 2,156 (1098 F, 1058 M) persons. The original 53 farming families have expanded greatly which could suggest some additional immigration into the village. Now original land holdings have been divided into smaller units and vary between 1-2 acres. About 87% of the employed population in the village is in agriculture sector and only 13% has non agriculture employment, and there are 105 family units registered as landless peoples. The pressure on existing farming land means that there has developed a range of land use practices like leasing, renting for paddy, shared farming, pawning etc. There are many families having several arrangements at the same time to grow different crops in different land plots. Initially at resettlement the farmers were advised and assisted to grow paddy and cotton, limited irrigation water could not support growing paddy in all the area. However the cotton crops failed and these were replaced by vegetables. Both poor irrigation water supply and easy marketing of vegetables at the village center facilitated the expansion of vegetable growing in the village and nearby areas. In 1975/76 farmers started to grow banana on a small scale as a cash crop, and during 1980s and 90s bananas began to be grown on a wider scale in irrigated paddy lands as it far more profitable. There has been a decline in banana production in the area since 2000 due to a reduction in the profitability for bananas, an increasing profitability for rice (following the 2007/8 rice crisis and the availability of government fertilizer subsidies for paddy and vegetable cultivation. However, still banana occupies about 56% of the cropping lands while paddy and vegetable respectively cover 34% and 10%. Common vegetable varieties grown in the village are okra, eggplant, bitter gourd, snake gourd, pumpkin and cucumber and both banana and vegetable crops grow all around the year without seasonality. There two main kinds of vegetables; vegetables growing in lofts [gourd varieties] and flat bed vegetables. Vegetables on lofts give high returns but require high investment due to labor and expertise to maintain it comparatively flat bed growing is easier and needs less expertise but

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with fewer returns. Almost all the farmers grow all three kinds of crops [banana, paddy and vegetable] with varying sizes and extents. The majority of the famers in the village depend on credits to begin cropping and usually they obtain these from banks; predominantly Ruhunu Development bank which has a branch office in the village centre, and from micro credit societies with revolving funds [Samurdhi, Janasakthi women society and Walawe women society] or other village based funds [village funeral assistant society, farmers association]. On average each farmer obtains about Rs 50,000 on credit at 8% interest per season [3 months]. Farmers with small cultivations, growing vegetables usually depends on short term credits from agrochemical dealers. Although government statistics show a high ratio (32% [152] family units) below the official poverty line and hence receiving monthly ration, there are only 23 families living in temporary [thatched] houses. The majority [57%] of the village population have education up to the secondary level [6-11 years of schooling] and another 32% have completed the primary education [1-5 years of schooling], while 8% of them had completed secondary education. There are 22 persons who have obtained a higher education qualification [graduate or diploma], and just 14 people do not have a formal education. There are no significant difference in the education between males and females. There 103 households receiving water from a drinking water supply scheme but as water is poor quality all the house use dug wells for drinking water, there are 322 lined wells, 12 unprotected wells and 18 tube wells in the village. 8 households do not have toilets, and another 82 use pit type toiled, rest households owe water sealed toilets. The distance to the nearest hospital [Chandrikawewa District Hospital] is 5 km and the local government dispensary and mother and child care clinic is at 2 km away. There are 7 social societies in the village. Two associations with government assigned responsibilities; village Samurdhi organization *poverty alleviation champion+ and the farmers association that deals with fertilizer credits and water. Two women micro credit societies running revolving funds; Janasakthi [Norad funded] and Walawe Kantha. And three village based societies including two funeral societies that provides grants for funeral expenses on subscription and a youth group for social activities.

Village 2: Watiya Ancient irrigation settlement on the Ratnapura Nonagama Rd about 4 kms south of Barawakumbuka. Total population of 1,098 mainly employed in agriculture although most land owned by village elders. Crops are predominantly paddy, banana and vegetables. Farmers use the Barawakumbuka market for their needs.

Watiya village is located on the Ratnapura Nonagama main road, 4 km south to the Barawakumbuka [village 1]. This is an ancient irrigation settlement which was partly resettled in 1974 with the development of irritation infrastructure. This settlement gave the same
size land plots as in village 1 [2 irrigated land and land for house], but lands under the old small tank remained. Similarly it was recommended and directed to grow paddy and cotton initially and 103

after the cotton failed, vegetables were recommended to save irrigation water. However, lands below the old tank were only suitable for paddy. This village does not have a market place and farmers have to travel to other places to sell their produce in the three main market centers Barawakumbuka [3 km], Angunukolapalassa [8 km], and Ambalantota [15 Km] or to travelling middlemen. There are two small pesticides outlets in the village. The population is of the GN division is 1,098 (644 F, 454 M) from 264 family units, and the cropping area is 696 acres [GN data]. However, all the available population / land use statistics is based on either GN division or irrigation area data and the village and lands are spread across GN divisions as thus not useful to describe the characteristics of the village. However from observations of farmers and key informants more than 60% of the cropping area is covered by paddy; banana 25% and vegetables 15%. Statistics for the GN division show that about 42% are employed in their own farming and another 41% employed as unskilled agricultural labourers. Many paddy farmers retain the original land holding rights in contrast to the village 1 and hence there is a higher ratio of landless people involved in agricultural labour. 48% of the village population have education up to the secondary level [6-11 years of schooling] and another 31% have completed the primary education [1-5 years of schooling], while 16% of them have completed secondary education. There are 4 persons who have obtained a higher education qualification [graduate or diploma], and some 45 [4%] persons do not have a formal education. 60% of farmers obtain seasonal credits to start cultivations. Previously most of the farmers used to get credit through mutual societies from a commercial bank that paid an agrochemical dealer to issue materials [pesticides and fertilizer]. However since the government fertilizer subsidy was introduced many farmers no longer need credits from the bank. There are three distinctive areas in the village; an area dominated with paddy about 90% coverage mostly owned by old village headmen; an area predominantly cultivating banana up to 60% banana coverage own by farmers living in the perimeter of the village; and an area with mixed cropping paddy and vegetable mainly owned by farmers living in a adjacent village. All these three areas have their own farmers organizations, and belong to different communities and have different cropping patterns. Many farmers in this village have good contact with the officer of the irrigation agency which implements the IPM field schools continuously in the area. Many key informants have good knowledge of IPM practices. In the past there were pesticide promotions where they freely distributed pesticides for cotton and tobacco.

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Village 3: Gal Wewa Small ancient irrigation settlement away from the main road equidistant to Embilipitya or Angunukolapalassa . Total population of 160 mainly employed in agriculture although land holdings vary markedly in this settlement with the majority of land under Temple rights. Crops are predominantly paddy, with smaller banana, cocnut, fruit and vegetables. This village is reasonably isolated and travel to main centres takes about 1hrs by bus.

Galwewa village is a small irrigation in the Angunukolapalassa DS division away from the main
roads; the village can be accessed either by traveling on the main irrigation canal or on field roads during the dry season. Originally Galwewa was an old village based on a cascade of small irrigation tanks, but during the irrigation development during early 70s the old tanks were drained and converted to paddy fields. The original habitants were relocated to newly developed lands, some of the second generation has resettled in the village. This small village with 47 families is divided among two GN divisions; Amarathungagama [ the part of the village where families were officially relocated] and Kohombagaswewa [part of the village where families have resettled themselves]. There are two types of farming lands; lands under a major irrigation scheme and lands under a small irrigation scheme belonging to a temple. Under the major irrigation scheme land allocation is similar to previous villages [2 acre paddy and acre for house]. Many villagers inherited the right to cultivate paddy lands belonging to the temple, where they pay 10% of their income to the temple as rent. In this land only paddy is allowed to grow. Altogether cultivation in the village is around 200 acres of paddy, 5 acres of banana and some 3 acres of vegetables. Home gardens [25 acres] are mainly growing coconut, mango and jack fruits. The ownership of lands varies greatly with about 15 families owning just acre and 5 families owning over 10 acres, the remainder own about 2 acres. This village is isolated from main roads and nearest marketing centers of Angunukolapelassa and Barawakumbuka is located equidistance (5 km) but during the rainy season it is too difficult to use the field road to Barawakumbuka. They also have a public bus service to Embilipitya or Angunukolapalassa. About 1 hour in both directions. The majority of villagers use bicycles to access Angunukolapalassa for services [health services and marketing] which takes about 30 minutes. They prefer to use the minor town of Angunukolapalassa, than the larger town at Embilipitiya as it is in a different Province. The population of the village is 160 people from 47 families; there are 5 government employees and some 11 women working in garment factories, and about 20 people are employed as daily-waged agriculture labourers. Education levels are low with two graduates and only 7 people having completed any secondary education, the remainder have some primary education or no formal education. There are many societies; 2 farmers organizations, 3 micro credit societies [ Samurdhi, Forut/Swayan bank society, Ceylinco], the funeral assistance society and Nawa Jeewana community psycho-social health program. Many farmers in this village depend on unofficial credit lines, that is they obtain credit on high rates around 30-50% interest per season. They obtain these credits from village sources or buy pesticides

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on credit from a dealer. The poorer people claim that they cannot easily obtain loans from village societies that give credit at lower rates. Only part of the village has grid electricity supply and the majority houses are connected to the public water supply pipeline that provide unpurified well water. 3 houses do not have toilets. Very few farmers in the village have good connections with irrigation and agriculture extension officers, few had heard of IPM and most are intensively using pesticides. Their main market they use to access pesticides is in Angunukolapalassa and the market places for their agricultural products and daily needs. There are no local pesticides outlets in the village, but one big paddy buyer / land owner does provide herbicides on credit to his customers. Several years ago there was a pesticides seller in the next village that sold pesticides on credit and had a good business, but he moved to expand the business.

North Central Province Villages


Village 4: Tract 13 Rajangana Irrigation settlement away from the main road between Thambuttegama and Anuradhapura . Total population of 2530 mainly employed in agriculture although land holdings now vary markedly in this settlement. Crops are predominantly paddy, with smaller plots for vegetables. This village is reasonably isolated and travel to main centres takes between 1-2hrs by bus. Most families use a range of small local stores to buy their daily requirements.

Rajangana Tract 13 is an irrigation settlement started in the late 1960s where landless families
from central, southern and western provinces settled in thick jungle areas. Original land allocation was similar to the other villages [2 acre paddy and to acre for house], however current land holding sizes vary greatly. Land has been divided among the second and third generations of the original settlers. In contrast to the villagers in Hambantota, here farmers were always encouraged to grow paddy as there was no water constraints in this scheme. The nearest towns to the village are; Nochchiyagama [10 km], Thambuttegama [25 km], and Anuradhapura. The access roads to all these towns are in a very dilapidated condition and it takes about 2 hours to go to nearest town by public transport. Many farmers avoid going to town centers for regular farming and household needs, but for other basic needs like; health, education, administration and major purchasing they have to. There are many road junctions/ local centers where they can buy daily needs and agriculture inputs within 2 km from the village. The crop patterns depends on the season however about 80% is covered by paddy. The majority grow vegetables in some area of their land during the dry season and some other farmers intensively grow vegetables throughout the year in plots of about 1-2 acres. Common vegetable crops are okra and eggplant varieties and some grow papaya and banana but not as extensively as Hambantota. They supply their vegetables directly to vegetable stalls in the main market through a daily transport service run by wealthy farmers in the area.

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The village population is 2530 from 602 families, the vast majority are involved in agriculture. The educational background is high with most people having up to 11 years of schooling and there is a high number of people employed in the security services and garment factories. Farmers in this locality have no access to agriculture extension services and not heard about IPM except in rare incidences of watching agriculture shows on television. There are farmer organizations run by influential farmers based in village centers however many of the vegetable farmers live in peripheral areas and did not have access to these services. There are no commercial banking facilities available in the area, and the majority of farmers rely on personal sources for credits usually on very high interest rates; 15% to 20% to pay at the end of the season. There are Sanasa and Sarvodaya rural banks giving credits to a limited number of farmers, but many people cannot access these credits. Womens micro credit societies are not popular and have only just begun operating in the area.

Village 5: Tract 5 Rajangana An irrigation settlement away from the main road between Thambuttegama and Anuradhapura. Total population of 2747 mainly employed in agriculture although more people employed in salaried jobs than other villages. Crops are predominantly paddy 80%, with smaller plots for fruit and vegetables. This village is more accessible to Thambuttegama and most families use the markets there to buy their daily requirements.

Rajangana tract 5 is an irrigation settlement very similar to village 4, but located some 7 km away
from a main agriculture centre, Thambutthegama. It has relatively better roads to access the town and the heart of the irrigation scheme with administrative offices and agriculture office is located on the boundary of the village. This is mainly a paddy growing area with about 80% paddy coverage and rests are banana/ papaya and a few vegetable plots. Farmers buy inputs [pesticides / fertilizer] at a local center or in the town and there are several seasonal pesticides outlets in the village selling pesticides on credit. There are no organized transport services to provide vegetables to market, but farmers arrange their own transport of banana / papaya to the market. The village population is 2747 in 638 families. The vast majority of people are involved in agriculture and 128 are employed in the government and private sector. Farmers in this locality have relatively better access to agriculture extension services and there are many farmers who were aware of IPM. Many established farmers have access to banking credit facilities, and poorer farmers mostly depend on local paddy buyers who provide advance money or issue materials [pesticides/ tractors/seeds] on credits. However the introduction of the recent fertilizer subsidy has lessened the need for credits in paddy farming.

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APPENDIX 2 : List of Pesticides


Trade Name 3,4, DPA Basa 50%EC Actara 25WG Admire SL200 Agstar rainguard Antrocole WP 70% Atabrone 5EC BPMC 50EC Bumper Calcrone 50EC Ceyphose 40EC Champion Come-on Compro 60EC Counter Curaterr 3%G Daconil D-Dash Decis Demro Dimethoate Ekalux 25EC Express Finfos 40 Glychi Glyphosate Harthene Hatrik Hedonal M 60 Invest Kohinoor Kumulus Lannate Larvin 375 F Lebaycid EC 50% Generic Name Propanil BPMC (Fenobucarb) Thiamethoxam Imidaclorprid (i)Mancozeb, (ii) Metalaxil Propineb Clorfluazuron Fenobucarb Propiconazole Profenofos Cloropyrifos Cupric Hydroxode Glyphosate (i)Proponil, (ii) Clomazone Glyphosate Carbofuran Chlorothalonil Glyphosate Deltamethrin Dimethoate Dimethoate Quinalphos Paraquat Chloropyrifos Glyphosate Glyphosate Acephate Glyphosate MCPA Cyclosulfamuron Imidaclorprid Sulphur Methomyl Thiodicarb Fenthion Use Herbicide Insecticide Insecticide Insecticide Fungicide Fungicide Insect Growth Regulator Insecticide Fungicide Insecticide Insecticide Fungicide Herbicide Herbicide Herbicide Insecticide Fungicide Herbicide Insecticide Insecticide Insecticide Insecticide, Acaricide Herbicide Insecticide Herbicide Herbicide Insecticide Herbicide Herbicide Herbicide Insecticide Fungicide, Acaricide Insecticide, Acaricide Insecticide Insecticide Chemical class Acetanilide Carbamate Neonicotinide Neonicotinide (i)Dithiocarbamate, (ii) Alaninate Dithiocarbamate Urea derivative (Bensoyurea) Carbamate Triazole Organophosphate Organophosphate Copper compound Glycene derivative (i) Acetanilide, (ii) isoxazolidinone Glycene derivative Carbamate Benzonitrile Glycene derivative Pyrethroid Organophosphate Organophosphate Organophosphate Bipyridylium Organophosphate Glycene derivative Glycene derivative Organophosphate Glycene derivative Chlorophenoxy Sulfamoyl Urea Neonicotinide Sulphur Carbamate Carbamate Organophosphate

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Trade Name M-50 dust M-60 Major Mancozeb 80%WP Marshal 20 SC Matric Mimic 20F Monocrotophos Mospilan Nominee Para Paraquat Parato Penthoete dust Power-mate Regent GR Ridoaxyl Right Rimone 10EC Roundup Runner SC 240 Solito Sumisideen Super 60 Sure Thiram Tiger 400 Tiller gold

Generic Name MCPA MCPA Glyphosate Mancozeb Carbosulfan Chromafenozide Tebufenozide Monocrotophos Acetamiprid Byspyribac-sodium Paraquat Paraquat Paraquat Penthoete Propanil Fipronil (i)Metalaxyl, (ii) Mancozeb Mancozeb Novaluron Glyphosate Methoxyfenozide Fenvalerate MCPA Propanil Sulphur Cloropyrifos Fenoxaprop-pethyl/Ethoxysulfur on/Isoxadifen-ethyl Thiophanate methyl Ethofenprox Fenoxaprop-pethyl Abemactin

Use Herbicide Herbicide Herbicide Fungicide Insecticide Insecticide Insect Growth Regulator Insecticide Insecticide Herbicide Herbicide Herbicide Herbicide Insecticide Herbicide Insecticide Fungicide Fungicide Insect Growth Regulator Herbicide Insecticide Herbicide Insecticide Herbicide Herbicide Fungicide Insecticide Herbicide

Chemical class chlorophenoxy chlorophenoxy Glycene derivative Dithiocarbamate Carbamate Organophosphate Diacylhydrazine Organophosphate Neonicotinide Pyrimidinyloxy benzoic Bipyridylium Bipyridylium Bipyridylium Organophosphate Acetanilide Phenylpurazole (i)Alaninate, (ii) Dithiocarbamate Dithiocarbamate Benzoylurea Glycene derivative Diacylhydrazine Pyrethroid Chlorophenoxy Acetanilide Sulphur Organophosphate Aryloxyphenoxy propionic acid /sulphonyl urea Benzimidazole Non-ester pyrethroid Aryloxyphenoxy propionic acid Organophosphate

Topsin M70 Treborn 10 EC Whip super 7.5EW Zoro

Herbicide Insecticide Herbicide Insecticide

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