Producer's perceptions of pesticide use in three agricultural systems in the Chiapas Higlands, Mexico
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Health Belief Model
benefits and signals for action.


The industrialization process of modern society is transforming traditional production systems into conventional systems with high dependence on external and synthetic inputs. A study was conducted in three production systems (corn, flowers and vegetables) in Chiapas Higlands, Mexico. The objective was to analyze users' perception of both economic and technological benefits and health risks of pesticide use. 523 surveys were applied to collect sociodemographic information, some characteristics of production systems and the perceived benefits and Health Belief Model (MCS, for its acronym in Spanish) constructs (susceptibility, severity, barriers, benefits and signals for action) with relation to pesticide use. Corn producers prioritize technological benefits, while horticulturists and flower growers give priority to economic benefits. Regardless of educational attainment and perceived threats to their health, producers do not have sufficient beliefs that enable reducing threats, which encourages behavior patterns that favor risk situations in their day-to-day health care. The use of extremely hazardous pesticides is common.
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