The use of pesticides in agriculture has become a widespread practice in African countries. These products are considered as an essential factor of productivity. There is a diversity of pesticides circulating in the city of Bouaké, which raises the question of the choice of efficient pesticides for the retailer, the farmer and for the applicator. Faced with this situation, the present research aimed at understanding how and why the representations of the effectiveness of pesticides among these social actors in Bouaké are constructed.

The research is qualitative, based on the emic and inductive approach. Seventeen actors were interviewed including three pesticide distributors, eleven sellers and three users. The selection of the respondents was done using the reasoned choice technique. Data collection was based on the use of documentation, participant and structured observation, semi-structured interviews, field logging and image capture.

The data reveal that the various stakeholders appreciate the effectiveness of pesticides by focusing on the names attributed to pesticides, the active ingredient, the diagnosis of plant diseases or nuisances, and the informality or otherwise of the pesticides, as well as the mode of application and the spray and speed of action of pesticides. These various criteria are in line with the systems of representation, knowledge, belief and the experience acquired by the actors.