Examining the Structure of Awareness and Perceptions of Groundnut Aflatoxin among Ghanaian Health and Agricultural Professionals and its Influence on Their Actions
C.M. Jolly; B. Bayard; R. T. Awuah; S. C. Fialor; J. T. Williams
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Journal of Socio-Economics
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Abstract: This study uses a modified health belief model (HBM) within a socio-economic framework to evaluate the influence of awareness and knowledge on actions to reduce aflatoxin (AF) contamination in groundnuts (peanuts). Data were collected in 2002 through a self-administered questionnaire from a sample of 367 individuals. Socio-economic factors affecting perceptions, awareness, knowledge, and action were examined using structural equation modeling. The perceived benefits of good quality groundnuts and/or groundnut products were the most important determinants of awareness and knowledge of AF among agricultural and healthprofessionals in Ghana. Awareness, in turn, had a significant causal effect on the professionals’ decisions to take actions to increase the level of awareness of AF in the society. Demographic factors, such as gender and level of education significantly influenced knowledge of AF and the perception of the benefits of good quality groundnut. Type of profession had a significant influence on awareness and perceived seriousness of the AF problem. Education was a significant determinant of awareness of AF in groundnuts. The study generates important information for policy decision making when considering resource allocation to reduce food contamination in developing economies.