Keywords: biopesticides, sustainable agriculture, small farmers, vegetable industry, Malaysia, sustainable development, sustainability, pesticides
Role of biopesticides in developing a sustainable vegetable industry in Malaysia
Agrochemical firms have been actively influencing farmers to continue using chemical pesticides and fertilisers. However, there are two major problems. Since fertilisers rely heavily on fossil fuels, which are non–renewable resources, their ability to produce food and fibre for the world populations in the long run is questionable. The use of chemical pesticides tends to cause serious environmental degradation and poses a threat to human health; hence it may not be sustainable. The objectives of this study are to investigate the level of awareness among vegetable farmers on the application of biopesticides and to examine factors that influence farmers to use biopesticides in vegetable production. The results revealed that a majority of the farmers were aware of biopesticides and have applied biopesticides on their farms. The factors that influenced farmers to apply biopesticides were their awareness as well as effectiveness, availability and also prices of the biopesticides.