We investigated if eco-friendly nets (EFNs) are a viable and acceptable alternative to extremely high levels of insecticide use in vegetable production. Using a choice experiment, we found that vegetable producing farmers in Benin preferred all of the characteristics of EFNs except the higher labor requirements. The nets had been distributed in a trial phase for free but in the long run farmers would need to purchase the EFNs. The break-even point for investing in nets was found to vary with the lifespan of EFNs, their purchase price and potential health benefits from avoiding large quantities of insecticides. To break even the nets need to be used for at least two production cycles. To overcome risk-averse farmer's reluctance to adopt EFNs we propose a credit and warranty scheme along with the purchase of the nets. The study's findings can guide the implementation of EFNs in other African countries as part of integrated pest management with global benefits for the environment and human health.
Keywords: Benefit-cost analysis; Choice experiment; Insect net; Integrated pest management; Pesticides; Stated preference; Urban agriculture; West Africa.
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