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Farmers' knowledge of pesticide use as well as their attitudes and perceptions concerning risks and safety play a crucial role in safe spraying operations in farms, but little is known for the inter-relationships among these variables and their impact on safety behavior. This study examined the levels of knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of pesticide use among apple farmers (n = 200) of Meshkinshahr County, Iran. All farmers used fungicides in their farms. On a scale from 1 to 5, the mean scores of knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions were 3.66 ± 0.77, 3.36 ± 0.59, and 4.37 ± 0.42, respectively, implying a moderate level of knowledge of pesticide use and attitudes towards pesticides, but positive perceptions of pesticides among respondents. Contact with extension agents, education level, reading pesticide labels, and household literate members showed positive association (P < 0.01) with knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of pesticide use, while contact with other farmers was negatively associated (P < 0.01) with these variables. Farming experience showed positive association (P < 0.01) with knowledge of pesticide use, while age showed negative association (P < 0.01) with attitudes towards pesticides. Poisoning experience was negatively associated with both attitudes and perceptions (P < 0.01), but not with knowledge. Farmers' knowledge of pesticide use (total effect 0.62) was the most important variable affecting pesticide use behavior of apple farmers followed by attitudes (total effect 0.50) and perceptions (total effect 0.42). Also, knowledge impacted attitudes towards pesticide use (accounting for 71% of the variability in farmers' attitudes), while attitudes in turn impacted perceptions (accounting for 69% of the variability in farmers' perceptions). Findings specify inter-relationships between farmers' knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions and the impact of those variables on safety behavior concerning pesticide use. Increasing farmers' knowledge of pesticide use and modifying attitudes and perceptions concerning pesticides are necessary for improving safety behavior of farmers in the use of pesticides.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science and pollution research international
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Knowledge, attitudes, and associated behaviors which pertain to health-related topics such as PATHOLOGIC PROCESSES or diseases, their prevention, and treatment. This term refers to non-health workers and health workers (HEALTH PERSONNEL).
Education that increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of health on a personal or community basis.
Education which increases the awareness and favorably influences the attitudes and knowledge relating to the improvement of dental health on a personal or community basis.
This discipline concerns the study of SEXUALITY, and the application of sexual knowledge such as sexual attitudes, psychology, and SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. Scope of application generally includes educational (SEX EDUCATION), clinical (SEX COUNSELING), and other settings.
Persons who cultivate land or crops, or raise LIVESTOCK.