Pesticides use and misuse in cabbage Brassica oleracea var. capitata L. (Cruciferae) production in Ghana: The influence of farmer education and training

Blankson W. Amoabeng, Kwesi P Asare, Olivia P. Asare, Moses Brandford Mochiah, Ibrahim Adama, Ken O Fening, Geoffrey Gurr

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Abstract

Global pesticides use is increasing with environmental contamination and consumer concerns over food safety reflecting this trend. A random sampling technique using a structured questionnaire was used to select 108 cabbage farmers in Ghana and were personally interviewed. The study found that most farmers had no formal education or were educated only to primary level so had limited capacity to read and understand labels of pesticides. Whilst biopesticides were popular, about 45% of the growers use synthetic insecticides in controlling pests such as diamondback moth, cabbage aphids, cabbage white butterfly, cabbage web worm and whitefly. Forty-four percent of growers do not adhere to use of the recommended rates of insecticides, because they fail to control pests effectively. Growers with formal education were more likely to adhere to the recommended application rates of pesticides. Respondents with training in agriculture, as opposed to formal education, tended not to adhere to recommended application rates. Overall, seventy-seven percent of growers did not wear any personal protective gear during chemical application and 39% had experienced at least a symptom of pesticide poisoning. Over 75% of respondents dispose of empty pesticides containers on the farm and 11% harvest their cabbage within one week after application of insecticides. Results suggest significant risks to farmers, consumers and the environment. It is expected that persistent education on the safe use of pesticides will lead to positive change in attitude of farmers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberJAERI.30128
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online dateDec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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