EMPIRICAL STUDY ON USAGE OF BIO-PESTICIDES BY FARM GROWERS IN KOLHAPUR REGION
India is moving away from chemical pesticides in favour of bio-pesticides, which are made from natural or microbial sources because chemical pesticide use has caused serious environmental and health issues there. In western Maharashtra, India's Kolhapur district, this study attempts to look into how often farmers use bio-pesticides. The goal is to examine farmer profiles and the effects of using bio-pesticides on crop yield and the environment. 300 farmers in the area participated in a structured questionnaire survey, and the data was analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The survey's findings show that bio-pesticides are becoming more and more popular among farmers in the Kolhapur area, with 60% of them utilising them compared to 40% who use chemical pesticides. Higher agricultural output and less negative environmental impact are both positively correlated with the use of bio-pesticides. The SEM analysis demonstrates that the adoption of bio-pesticides is influenced by farmer education, age, and farm size. Particularly, farmers with larger farms and greater levels of education were more likely to use bio-pesticides than those with smaller farms and lower levels of education. The adoption of bio-pesticides was also found to be positively influenced by age, with older farmers being more inclined to do so than younger ones. The survey results also indicate that neem-based products are the most widely utilised bio-pesticides in the area, followed by microbial-based products like Trichoderma and Pseudomonas. Concerns about the effects of bio-pesticides on human health and the environment, as well as their efficiency in eliminating pests, are some of the factors that led to their acceptance. Overall, this research contributes to the understanding of the adoption of bio-pesticides by farmers in Kolhapur district and their potential benefits. The findings suggest that promoting education and awareness about bio-pesticides, and providing incentives for their adoption, could further increase their adoption and contribute to sustainable agriculture in the region.
Bio-pesticides, Farmers, Kolhapur district, Structural Equation Modelling, Sustainable Agriculture.