Miss Rural farmers' learning of weed management methods in Malaysia
Malim Nawar in Kampar District, Malaysia, is a potential major production site for modern high-technology farms by 2030. To achieve this, a significant increase in intensive agricultural activities and weed management practices is required. To develop strategies and achieve the goals of sustainable agriculture, the present study used a semi-structured questionnaire survey to assess farmers’ perception of weeds, their sources of information, and their reasons for willingness or unwillingness to adopt non-chemical control methods. The survey was conducted from June to October 2018 and included members of the Malim Nawar Vegetable Farmers Association. Descriptive and chi-square statistics were used for the analyses. Of the 62 participants, 50 (80.6%) were over 50 years of age, and 47 (75.7%) spoke the Hakka dialect. Pest infestation and crop diseases were the most important constraints in crop production followed by weed infestation. Knowledge of weed species led to the anticipation of yield loss and exploration of potential control methods. Social networking and agriculture chemical companies were the main sources of information on weed control methods. Despite knowing the harmful effects of chemical herbicides, farmers’ willingness/resistance to adopt non-chemical weed control methods depended on many different factors. In conclusion, the survey results showed that proactiveness of farmers’ associations and relevant government agencies is a prerequisite for achieving agricultural development through education. Moreover, structure and systematic learning using innovative methods adjusted to local socioeconomic conditions could facilitate a paradigm shift from chemical control to environment-friendly weed control methods.