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Using the Health Belief Model to Understand Pesticide Use Decisions


  • Muhammad Khan

    (Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology, Islamabad)


The Health Belief Model in public health and social psychology argues that persons who have had adverse health experiences are likely to adopt greater preventive behaviour. Using that model, this study builds an empirical model that links farmer’s pesticide-associated adverse health problems and risk perceptions to an environmentally sound behaviour of pesticide use. A survey of 318 farmers in the districts of Vehari and Lodhran was drawn. The results show almost all the farmers to be using pesticides extensively. Consequently, more than 80 percent farmers experienced at least one adverse health symptom. The econometric analysis appeared to confirm that IPM training and education are the main determinants of an environmentally sound behaviour in terms of pesticide use. The data, however, do not support the hypothesis that farmers who have experienced health problems from pesticides are likely to use alternative pest management practices. Finally, the study concludes that provision of alternative pest management is necessary to improve pesticide use practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Muhammad Khan, 2010. "Using the Health Belief Model to Understand Pesticide Use Decisions," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 941-956.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:49:y:2010:i:4:p:941-956

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Azeem Khan & Muhammad Iqbal & Iftikhar Ahmad & Manzoor H. Soomro, 2002. "Economic Evaluation of Pesticide Use Externalities in the Cotton Zones of Punjab, Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 41(4), pages 683-698.
    2. Dasgupta, Susmita & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David & Nhan Thi Lam & Khuc Xuyen, 2005. "Pesticide poisoning of farm workers : implications of blood test results from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3624, The World Bank.
    3. Dasgupta, Susmita & Meisner, Craig & Huq, Mainul, 2005. "Health effects and pesticide perception as determinants of pesticide use : evidence from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3776, The World Bank.
    4. Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Khan, 2009. "Economic Evaluation of Health Cost of Pesticide Use: Willingness to Pay Method," MPRA Paper 30178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Iftikhar ul Husnain & Muhammad Khan, "undated". "The Public and Private Benefits from Organic Farming in Pakistan," Working papers 100, The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics.


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