This paper reports on case study research carried out in Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal, looking at changes in smallholder pest management strategies and use of pesticides in cotton, vegetables, pineapple, cereal and legume crops for export and domestic markets. It describes recent changes in pesticide provision and smallholder access to synthetic inputs following liberalisation, detailing the proliferation of informal trading, and farmer perceptions of the pros and cons of different provision sources. It describes how pesticide access is facilitated by governments, donors and development agencies, as well as the activities of private sector distribution and commodity companies, and the widespread diversion of pesticides from intended targets. Farmers’ and other stakeholders’ assessment of provision, access and use are summarised and the policy implications of the research findings for pesticide provision, control and alternative pest management strategies are discussed.
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