A SURVEY OF PESTICIDE USE AND APPLICATION PATTERNS AMONG FARMERS: A CASE STUDY FROM SELECTED HORTICULTURAL FARMS IN RIFT VALLEY AND CENTRAL PROVINCES, KENYA

  • A. B. Nyende Institute of Biotechnology Research, Jomo Kenyatta university of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
  • J. Ochora Institute of Biotechnology Research, Jomo Kenyatta university of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
  • G. Magoma, Institute of Biotechnology Research, Jomo Kenyatta university of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
  • W. O. Nyakundi, Institute of Biotechnology Research, Jomo Kenyatta university of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Pesticides, horticultural farms and pesticide application

Abstract

About 25-35% loss in agricultural produce is caused by pests and diseases which can be controlled by use of
pesticides. These pesticides kill or deter the destructive activity of the target organism and they posses’ inherent
toxicities that endanger the health of the farmers, consumers and the environment. This leads to a need to study
or assess pesticide usage patterns and applications on horticultural farms. To this effect a survey was carried out in
Rift Valley and Central provinces of Kenya between October 2009 and January 2010 on horticultural farms
producing either kales, french beans, cabbage, eryngium, morbydick and arabicum. Results indicated that
pesticides are readily available and widely used in farms and the main herbicides in use were identified as linurex
50 wp and diurex 80wp while insecticides included diazol 60EC and methomex 90S, fungicides included folicur EW
and dithane M45. Sixty (60%); of the respondents were Male and 40% female between the age of 20-60 years with
an average age of 45 and a standard deviation of 13.3 years. Eighty (80%) of the respondents agreed to use hats,
gloves for protection but they were not in good condition thus exposing them to pesticides. The pesticides affected
the environment by citing death of fish in nearby rivers. The most frequently mentioned source of information on
clinical usage was from commercial media (37.6%), government agricultural extension officers (26.4%), village
leaders (25%) and finally the opinions of other community leaders. Educational interventions are essential for
promoting safety during all phases of pesticide handling. Public policies should be developed to encourage farmers
to change their pest management methods from chemical based to methods that are healthier and more
environmentally friendly.

Published
2019-05-16