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Advances in Crop Science and Technology

.: Home > Advances in Crop Science and Technology > 2015 > Volume 3 Number 3 > Victor Afari-Sefa1 *, Elvis Asare-Bediako2 , Lawrence Kenyon3 and John A. Micah4

Pesticide Use Practices and Perceptions of Vegetable Farmers in the Cocoa Belts of the Ashanti and Western Regions of Ghana

Victor Afari-Sefa1 *, Elvis Asare-Bediako2 , Lawrence Kenyon3 and John A. Micah4
1AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, Eastern and Southern Africa, P. O. Box 10, Duluti Arusha, Tanzania 2University of Cape Coast, School of Agriculture, Department of Crop Science, Private Mail Bag Cape Coast, Ghana 3AVRDC- The World Vegetable Center, Headquarters P. O. Box 42 Shanhua Tainan 74199, Taiwan 4University of Cape Coast, School of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Private Mail Bag Cape Coast, Ghana
Abstract :

Chemical pesticides are commonly used in the management of pests and diseases in vegetable production in Ghana. However, there is increasing concern about the adverse effects this use has on public health and the environment. A study was conducted to assess how much farmers’ know about the safe handling and use of pesticides, and what they perceive to be the hazards around their use. In-depth field surveys was undertaken with 437 sampled vegetable producers and complimented with focus group discussions and field observation. The results revealed that knapsack sprayers were the most widely used equipment for spraying pesticides (92.4%), followed by hand-held applicators (4.5%) whereas only 3.1% used motorised sprayers. Only 15.6% of the respondents fully protect themselves during spraying operations; others either wore partial protective clothing (38%) or did not wear any protective clothing at all (46.4%), there by coming into direct contact with pesticides. Over 80 % of the respondents re-entered their farms within 3 days of pesticide application; harvest their produce within 7 days, without observing safe harvest interval protocols. The study also revealed that the farmers were aware of and had experienced pesticide hazards such as headache, dizziness, body weakness, and itching. Three per cent of the farmers also mentioned burning sensation, catarrh, stomach pain, unconsciousness, itching of eyes and body pains as side effects from pesticides application. Females and illiterates were found to be more vulnerable to these hazards than their male and literate counterparts. The study findings show that most farmers dispose of empty pesticide containers (59.8%) and wash water from sprayers (79.2%) by throwing or disposing them on their farms. The study concludes that farmers are misapplying pesticides by disregarding the potential harmful effects of pesticides on human health and the environment.

Keywords :
Pest management; Pest control; Crop protection practices; Agricultural knowledge and information systems; Farmers’ perceptions; Hazard; Pesticide policy

Date Deposited : 04 Apr 2016 10:41

Last Modified : 04 Apr 2016 10:41

Official URL:

Volume 3, Number 3, August 2015 , ISSN ISSN: 2329-8863

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