Author(s): Ngowi AV, Mbise TJ, Ijani AS, London L, Ajayi OC
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Abstract Small-scale farmers in Northern Tanzania grow vegetables that include tomatoes, cabbages and onions and use many types of pesticides to control pests and diseases that attack these crops. Based on the use of questionnaires and interviews that were conducted in Arumeru, Monduli, Karatu, and Moshi rural districts, this study investigates farmers' practices on vegetable pest management using pesticides and related cost and health effects. The types of pesticides used by the farmers in the study areas were insecticides (59\%), fungicides (29\%) and herbicides (10\%) with the remaining 2\% being rodenticides. About a third of the farmers applied pesticides in mixtures. Up to 90\% had a maximum of 3 pesticides in a mixture. In all cases there were no specific instructions either from the labels or extension workers regarding these tank mixtures. Fifty three percent of the farmers reported that the trend of pesticide use was increasing, while 33\% was constant and 14\% was decreasing. More than 50 percent of the respondents applied pesticides up to 5 times or more per cropping season depending on the crop. Insecticides and fungicides were routinely applied by 77\% and 7\%, respectively by these farmers. Sixty eight percent of farmers reported having felt sick after routine application of pesticides. Pesticide-related health symptoms that were associated with pesticides use included skin problems and neurological system disturbances (dizziness, headache). Sixty one percent of farmers reported spending no money on health due to pesticides. These results can be used to develop a tool to quantify the cost of pesticide use in pest management by small-scale vegetable farmers in Northern Tanzania and contribute to the reformation of pesticide policy for safe and effective use of pesticides.
This article was published in Crop Prot
and referenced in Advances in Crop Science and Technology