The decision-making process of synthetic pesticide use in agricultural communities in Colombia: a grounded theory approach

  • Ysabel Polanco Lopez de Mesa Profesora
Palabras clave: perceptions, agriculture, pesticides, grounded theory


Objective: to explore the decision-making process of agricultural workers associated with pesticide use and exposure; and to discover if these processes differ between pesticide users and non users. and the characteristics of these differences

Methods: his study used a grounded theory approach to understand the decision-making process for pesticide use/non-use among agricultural workers in San Cristobal, Colombia. This study involved participant
observation, individual interviews, and focus groups.

Results: the theory developed to explain the decision making process of pesticide use showed several categories including: the prospect of having a good harvest, efficient pest control, habituation to use pesticides, feeling obligated to do use them, poor knowledge about pesticides, believing that pesticide increased the quality of the products, positive attitudes towards pesticide use, family support towards pesticide use, community pressure and acceptance, economic fear, and market pressure. In the non pesticide users group categories included: having better health, pesticides considered harmful for human health, pesticides being deleterious for  the environment, being used to work without pesticides, family and economic support, and negative attitude towards pesticide use . The decision making process for personal protective equipment (PPE) use encompassed categories such as: powerless feelings, economic difficulties, and belief that equipment is not necessary.

Discussion: The decision-making process for pesticide use in agricultural communities is complex and varies between pesticide users and non-users.

Conclusions: It is important to consider the intricate process of pesticide use in order to orient interventions in the agricultural sector.

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Biografía del autor/a

Ysabel Polanco Lopez de Mesa, Profesora
Profesora asistente departamento de medicina preventiva y salud publica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia


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Cómo citar
Polanco Lopez de Mesa, Y. (2020). The decision-making process of synthetic pesticide use in agricultural communities in Colombia: a grounded theory approach. Revista Facultad Nacional De Salud Pública, 38(2), 1-7.
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