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Small-Scale Tomato Cultivators’ Perception on Pesticides Usage and Practices in Buea Cameroon

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.621333    3,399 Downloads   4,076 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

It has been shown that farmers with limited knowledge of the use and safe handling of pesticides may suffer exposure which results in adverse health effects. In Buea, Cameroon, small-scale tomato farmers commonly use pesticides for pest control. Information was obtained from these tomato farmers to determine the extent and types of their pesticide use, their knowledge of pesticide use and effectiveness, and their perception of potential harm resulting from pesticide use. A standardized questionnaire, interviews, field observations and an analytical ranking game were used to describe the pesticide use of 93 tomato farmers. Many farmers (47.6%) used pyrethiod and organophosphorus insecticides and identified these chemicals as the most effective in pesticide control; these are WHO Class II pesticides which are the most hazardous to humans. Most farmers (83.8%) used knapsack sprayers to apply pesticides, with 76.3% using no or partial personal protective equipment (PPE). It was notable that 55.5% of farmers expressed no concern regarding the wind direction (pesticide drift) during spraying. The results showed a significant association between the method of pesticides application and farm size (P < 0.001). Most farmers (85.0%) reported at least one symptom of acute pesticide poisoning following spraying. This study revealed that the tomato farmers have a high exposure to pesticides secondary to inadequate knowledge of the safe and judicious use of pesticides. Strategies that provide training on the appropriate use of pesticides, how to reduce exposure to and health risks of pesticides and alternative options of pest management and control are required. The study also raised concerns that further control of the sale and distribution of pesticides may be indicated.

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Tandi, T. , Wook, C. , Shendeh, T. , Eko, E. and Afoh, C. (2014) Small-Scale Tomato Cultivators’ Perception on Pesticides Usage and Practices in Buea Cameroon. Health, 6, 2945-2958. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.621333.

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