Health and environmental effects of adopting an integrated fruit fly management strategy among mango farmers in Kenya

Chris Miyinzi Mwungu, Beatrice Muriithi, Vincent Ngeno, Hippolyte Affognon, Caroline Githiomi, Gracious Diiro, & Sunday Ekesi

Integrated pest management (IPM) has been promoted globally as an alternative approach to the widespread broad-spectrum chemical insecticidal application for the control of pests and diseases in agricultural production to minimise the harmful effects of the chemicals on humans and the environment. This study examines the impact of an IPM strategy developed to control mango fruit flies on humans and the environment. Using a random sample of 371 mango farmers from Meru County in Kenya, health and environmental outcomes were measured using the environmental impact quotient (EIQ) field use and causal impacts, which were estimated using the endogenous switching regression (ESR) model. The results indicate that the adoption of the IPM strategy reduced pesticide use and pesticide toxicity. Policy efforts therefore should focus on promoting and disseminating fruit fly IPM to improve the livelihoods of rural mango farmers, but also reduce human health and environmental threats as a result of pesticide use.