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Assessment of farmers on their knowledge regarding pesticide usage and biosafety


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Purpose: Inappropriate application of pesticides is quite common in the study area, causing health issues and in some cases fatalities. The intent of the current study is to gauge the farmers' level of knowledge on the safe usage of pesticides and biosafety to keep the famers healthy through the focused extension programs. Methodology: The study is carried out in 41 union councils of Tehsil Sahiwal, District Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan. Data are collected through a cluster sampling technique by conducting face-to-face interviews. Statistical analysis is used to determine relationships and interpret them. Results: The findings show that the majority of farmers (87.2%) earn their livelihoods from farming and 2.1% are traders. More than half of the respondents (51.8%) own small land-holdings with an area of 4-8 ha, with only 16.4% having a land area of more than 12 ha. The results also reveal that the majority of respondents obtain information from private agents and only about one third (34.4%) respondents get information on the safe usage of pesticides from the Department of Agriculture (Extension). The internet has emerged as a fast and reliable source of information in the new paradigm; however, only 14.4% of the respondents take advantage of this economical and fast information tool/medium. The findings also reveal that the farmers employ unhealthy and poor practices by not following the recommendations regarding the safe usage of pesticides. The study also reveals that more than half of the farmers (54.4%) use unsafe storage practices on their farms, and about 48.2% do not follow the instructions. Conclusions: Inappropriate application of pesticides can have negative effects on human health and the adoption safety measures are necessary to avoid the harmful effects of pesticides. Due to high illiteracy in the area, farmers mainly seek advice of neighboring farmers, having ignorance on the biosafety issues. Variables like education level, land ownership, total land size and the trainings on safe pesticide usage significantly influence the knowledge level of farmers on the safe usage of pesticides. Recommendations: Farmers do not follow the recommendations of the extension department or the instructions printed on pesticide bottles/containers, therefore educational (formal and informal) and training programs are necessary on the safe pesticide usage to upgrade their skills and expertise on safe usage of pesticides and the importance of biosafety.
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Original article
Assessment of farmers on their knowledge regarding pesticide usage and
Muhammad Mubushar, Fahad O. Aldosari
, Mirza B. Baig, Bader M. Alotaibi, Abdul Qader Khan
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Society, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
article info
Article history:
Received 9 November 2018
Revised 7 January 2019
Accepted 5 March 2019
Available online 6 March 2019
Farmers level of knowledge
Information sources
Safe pesticide usage
Purpose: Inappropriate application of pesticides is quite common in the study area, causing health issues
and in some cases fatalities. The intent of the current study is to gauge the farmers’ level of knowledge on
the safe usage of pesticides and biosafety to keep the famers healthy through the focused extension pro-
Methodology: The study is carried out in 41 union councils of Tehsil Sahiwal, District Sahiwal, Punjab,
Pakistan. Data are collected through a cluster sampling technique by conducting face-to-face interviews.
Statistical analysis is used to determine relationships and interpret them.
Results: The findings show that the majority of farmers (87.2%) earn their livelihoods from farming and
2.1% are traders. More than half of the respondents (51.8%) own small land-holdings with an area of 4–
8 ha, with only 16.4% having a land area of more than 12 ha. The results also reveal that the majority of
respondents obtain information from private agents and only about one third (34.4%) respondents get
information on the safe usage of pesticides from the Department of Agriculture (Extension). The internet
has emerged as a fast and reliable source of information in the new paradigm; however, only 14.4% of the
respondents take advantage of this economical and fast information tool/medium. The findings also
reveal that the farmers employ unhealthy and poor practices by not following the recommendations
regarding the safe usage of pesticides. The study also reveals that more than half of the farmers
(54.4%) use unsafe storage practices on their farms, and about 48.2% do not follow the instructions.
Conclusions: Inappropriate application of pesticides can have negative effects on human health and the
adoption safety measures are necessary to avoid the harmful effects of pesticides. Due to high illiteracy
in the area, farmers mainly seek advice of neighboring farmers, having ignorance on the biosafety issues.
Variables like education level, land ownership, total land size and the trainings on safe pesticide usage
significantly influence the knowledge level of farmers on the safe usage of pesticides.
Recommendations: Farmers do not follow the recommendations of the extension department or the
instructions printed on pesticide bottles/containers, therefore educational (formal and informal) and
training programs are necessary on the safe pesticide usage to upgrade their skills and expertise on safe
usage of pesticides and the importance of biosafety.
Ó2019 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University. This is an open access
article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
1. Introduction
The economy of Pakistan primarily depends on agriculture; it
contributes about 19.8% to the gross domestic product and 42.5%
of rural people are associated with agriculture (GOP, 2015–16).
Worldwide, about 1.8 billion people are engaged in agriculture
and use pesticides to control insects, pests, and diseases to ensure
healthy crops and food security (Grube et al., 2011). Synthetic and
naturally occurring chemical (plant exudates) pesticides aid in
controlling insect pests and eradicating weeds that compete with
field crops (Khan et al., 2010). There are 1500 types of chemicals
used as pesticides worldwide, and owing to their chemical nature,
pesticides can cause serious environmental and health problems
(Bolognesi and Merlo, 2011). In Pakistan, 108 types of insecticide,
39 kinds of herbicide, 30 types of fungicide, 6 types of rodenticide,
and 5 types of acaricide are used on different crops (Anwar et al.,
1319-562X/Ó2019 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (F.O. Aldosari).
Peer review under responsibility of King Saud University.
Production and hosting by Elsevier
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 26 (2019) 1903–1910
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
journal homepage:
2011; Zia et al., 2009). It is estimated that global expenditure on
pesticides increased significantly from 2008 to 2012. In 2008–
2012, the total expenditure on pesticides was about $56 billion
(McDougall, 2012).
Around 2 million tons of pesticides are used yearly in agricul-
ture production, out of which about 69% is used in Europe and
the US alone (Abhilash and Singh, 2009). Human exposure to pes-
ticides results in a number of harmful effects depending on the
type of pesticide and duration of exposure. The most common
signs of exposure are headaches, excessive salivation, lacrimation,
nausea, diarrhea, respiratory depression, seizures, and loss of con-
sciousness (Medline Plus, 2015; PSEP, 2015). Similarly, research
conducted by Kachaiyaphum et al. (2010) showed that farmers
were experiencing different kinds of health problem due to the
use of pesticides, including dizziness (38%), headaches (31%), and
nausea or vomiting (27%). Luckily, the toxic residues of pesticides
in the environment and food can be minimized by educating farm-
ers and exposing them to training on the safe usage of pesticides
(Ahmed et al., 2011; Khan et al., 2010).
However, more research on higher-order controls to reduce
pesticide exposure, understand the reasons for the poor utilization
of personal protection equipment (PPE), and identify effective
training methods is needed (MacFarlane et al., 2013). Several pre-
vious studies focused on providing education on pesticide safety
and protection standards for workers in order to mitigate health
risks; owing to their insufficient knowledge of the harmful effects
of pesticide exposure, farmers and farm workers rarely adopt pre-
cautionary measures while applying pesticides (Khan, 2012; Ejaz
et al., 2004).
Pakistan, an agricultural country with various agro-ecological
zones and climates, produces a wide variety of crops; therefore,
the use of pesticides in Pakistan has increased tremendously in
the last few decades. Though food production has increased sub-
stantially due to progress in science and technology, the targets
set by the government to meet national food demand always put
pressure on farmers to increase grain production. In order to
enhance crop production, farmers have expanded the use of pesti-
cides and fertilizers to meet the government’s food sufficiency tar-
gets. Nowadays, farmers fully rely on pesticides for increasing
global agricultural productivity and protecting plantations from
different insects, pests, and diseases. Developing countries account
for only 20% of pesticide use at the global level; however, their
casualty rates are very high due to pesticide poisoning
(Kesavachandran et al., 2009). In developed countries, many stud-
ies have assessed farmers’ levels of knowledge of safe pesticide
usage; however, no scientific study on this subject has been con-
ducted in Central Punjab, Pakistan. Therefore, the present study
was undertaken. It is anticipated that this study, due to its
research-based findings, will help in exploring the knowledge
levels of farmers and in identifying the problems they face regard-
ing safe pesticide usage. Further, the outcomes of the study will
contribute to devising policy instruments and developing exten-
sion programs for farmers regarding safe pesticide usage that will
reduce the health risks.
2. Research methodology
This study is undertaken in the District of Sahiwal, Pakistan. The
District of is administratively divided into two municipalities: Teh-
sil Sahiwal and Tehsil Chichawatni. Each Tehsil is further adminis-
tratively divided into Union Councils (UCs). The District of Sahiwal
consists of 81 UCs and approximately 531 villages. In Tehsil Sahi-
wal, there are 52 UCs and 315 villages, with 11 UCs falling in urban
zones and 41 in rural zones.
A cluster sampling technique is used to obtain the cross-
sectional data for this study (because each UC has a specific num-
ber of villages that make clusters). One village is selected randomly
from each rural UC. Then, five farmers are interviewed from each
village. The study included 205 farmers and are interviewed to col-
lect data for the study’s purposes. Ten farmers refused to partici-
pate; therefore, incomplete questionnaires were excluded,
making the final sample size 195 farmers.
A questionnaire was developed for this study to achieve its
objectives. The Faculty of the Departments of Agricultural Exten-
sion as well as Plant Protection reviewed the formulated question-
naire, and necessary amendments were made in light of their
comments. Initially, the questionnaire was prepared in English;
however, later it was translated into the local language (Urdu) to
avoid any problems with understanding. Before conducting the
real interviews, the questionnaire was pretested by conducting
interviews with 20 farmers in the area (who were not a part of
the study) to check its smoothness and gauge how easy it was
for the farmers to understand the questions. After receiving their
feedback, further necessary amendments were made. In order to
check the reliability and internal consistency of the pretested ques-
tionnaire, Cronbach’s alpha was calculated; a value of 0.71 was
All of the variables regarding knowledge level, sources of infor-
mation, reasons for pesticide usage, and problems related to safe
pesticide usage are clearly defined and labeled for data analysis.
The demographic characteristics of the respondents are assessed
using descriptive statistics, mainly through frequency distributions
and percentages.
The data are coded, entered into an Excel file, and then analyzed
using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21. A logit
regression model is employed to test the effect of the independent
variables on the variance of the dependent variables.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Demographic characteristics of the farmers
The socioeconomic characteristics studied are the age of the
farmers, their education level, their main occupation, their annual
income from agriculture and other sources, the nature of their farm
ownership, the total land size, the land under cultivation, and their
total experience (in years) with using pesticides.
3.1.1. Age and education level of the respondents
Age and level of education are measured using well-defined
ordinal scale categories. Table 1 shows that the highest percentage
of respondents (34.9%) belonged to the 30–39 age group, followed
by 29.2% in the 40–49 group and 20.5% in the 20–29 group. The
smallest number of respondents (15.4%) is in the above 50-age
Regarding education level, the majority of the respondents are
illiterate, accounting for 39.5% of the sampled population; sec-
ondary and matriculation education followed with 26.2% and
20.0%, respectively. Respondents with a higher level of education
account for only 14.4%. According to Rios-Gonzalez et al. (2013),
literate farmers have a better understanding of the effects of pesti-
cides on health and environment than illiterate ones. These results
are in accordance with Khan and Iqbal (2009), who reported that
the majority of farmers in Pakistan have a low level of education,
with only 6% having received a university education.
3.1.2. Income sources and total income of the respondents
Farming is the main occupation in Pakistan; the country’s econ-
omy is based on the agricultural sector. The majority of people are
1904 M. Mubushar et al. /Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 26 (2019) 1903–1910
associated with agriculture directly or indirectly for their liveli-
hoods. As the data in Table 1 indicate, farming is the main occupa-
tion of 87.2% of respondents; 10.8% hold government jobs in
addition to farming. The rest of the respondents (2.1%) are recog-
nized as traders, while no respondents had other professions.
Bhutto and Bazmi (2007) reported similar results: the majority of
farmers have small parcels of land, and agriculture is their subsis-
tence livelihood.
As revealed in Table 1, the annual income of about half of the
respondents (49.2%) ranges from 0.6 to 1.0 million PKR, whereas
respondents with an annual income ranging between 1.1 and
1.5 million PKR account for 26.2%. Respondents that have an
annual income of more than 1.5 million PKR make up about
16.2%, while the rest (8.2%) have an annual income of less than
0.5 million PKR per annum.
3.1.3. Land ownership and area under cultivation
The majority of respondents (58.5%) inherited their land from
their forefathers, followed by 14.9% who rent the land. Respon-
dents who purchased land for agricultural purposes account for
only 2.6%, and 24.1% of the respondents had purchased and inher-
ited land for crop cultivation.
Regarding the area under cultivation, respondents possessing
total land of 5–8 ha cultivated about half of their land (50.8%)
and those who owned an area of 9–12 ha cultivated about
16.9% of their total land. The smallest percentage of respon-
dents (15.9%) kept their land permanently and fully under cul-
tivation. Damalas and Khan (2016) indicated that the amount
of land under cultivation has a significant effect on safe pesti-
cide usage.
3.1.4. Total land size and experience with pesticide use
The data presented in Table 1 reflect that about half of the
respondents (51.8%) owned 5–8 ha of land, followed by those
(24.6%) with a landholding of an area of 9–12 ha. The respon-
dents owning a landholding of more than 12 ha accounted for
16.4% and respondents that had less than 4 ha accounted for
only 7.2%.
The majority of the respondents (41.0%) had 11–15 years of
experience in using pesticides. Respondents with 5–10 years’ expe-
rience account for 37.9%, followed by those with experience of 16–
20 years (16.9%); 4.1% of respondents have less than 20 years’
experience in using pesticides.
3.2. Respondents’ sources of information on safe pesticide usage
Fig. 1 represents the information received by the respondents
from different sources regarding safe pesticide usage. Respondents
were asked (based on a nominal scale where Yes = 2 and No = 1)
about how they got information on the safe application of pesti-
cides among the available information sources.
The data reveal that about one third of the respondents (34.4%)
got their information on safe pesticide usage from the Department
of Agriculture, while about 65.6% do not seek such information
from this department, as indicated in Fig. 1. This might be because
many of the representatives of the Department of Agriculture focus
only on big land owners and ignore small and medium farmers.
These results are in line with Lekei et al. (2014), who found that
about 38.6% of farmers in Tanzania got their information from agri-
cultural extension officers.
Fellow farmers also play an important role in disseminating
information to farmers. The results show that about 69.7% of the
respondents rely on information regarding safe pesticide usage
provided by their fellow farmers, as compared to 30.3% who may
not have had good relations with their neighboring farmers for
social, economic, and political reasons. Rehman et al. (2013)
reported that fellow farmers helped other farmers in selecting pes-
ticides and provided information on their usage and proper han-
dling. Similarly, Jors et al. (2014) conducted a study that
Table 1
Socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents (N = 195).
Age of the respondents (Years)
20–30 30–40 40–50 > 50
Percentage (n) 20.5 (40) 34.9 (68) 29.2 (57) 15.4 (30)
Education level of the respondents
Illiterate Secondary Matriculation Higher study
Percentage (n) 39.5 (77) 26.2 (51) 20.0 (39) 14.4 (28)
Main source of earning
Farming Trader Govt. + farming Others
Percentage (n) 87.2 (1 7 0) 2.1 (4) 10.8 (21) 0.0
Income per annum of the respondents (Millions PKR)
0–0.5 0.5–1.0 1.0–1.5 > 1.5
Percentage (n) 8.2 (16) 49.2 (96) 26.2 (51) 16.4 (21)
Total land size (hectares)
0–4 4–8 8–12 >12
Percentage (n) 7.2 (14) 51.8 (1 0 1) 24.6 (48) 16.4 (32)
Respondents experience in using pesticide using (Years)
5–10 11–15 16–20 >20
Percentage (n) 37.9 (74) 41.0 (80) 16.9 (33) 4.1 (8)
Fig. 1. Percentage of farmers using different information sources.
M. Mubushar et al. /Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 26 (2019) 1903–1910 1905
evaluated the personal protection measures used to reduce pesti-
cide poisoning among small holding farmers in Bolivia through
the Farmer Field School (FFS) and the Neighbor Farmers. The find-
ings of the study revealed that farmers were able to make improve-
ments to personal protection measures with the help of
neighboring farmers.
An overall 73.8% of respondents receive information from retail-
ers, indicating their dependency on retailers when buying products
on credit, while about 26.2% of the respondents might have been
financially better off than others might and did not rely on retailers
for information, as shown in Fig. 1. Research conducted in the past
showed that retailers had not received any training and their infor-
mation was poor concerning the harmful effects of pesticides and
their toxicities or spraying safety techniques. These results are in
agreement with Damalas and Khan (2016) and Lekei et al.
(2014), who reported that most farmers get their information on
safe pesticide usage from retailers. Zhang and Lu (2007) conducted
a survey in northern China and found that 34.5% of respondents
had received pesticide information from pesticide distributors;
about 54.43% from co-workers; 41.09% from their own experience;
and 25.79%, 16.67%, and 7.36% from TV, newspapers, and the Inter-
net, respectively. These results contradict our findings. However,
Weng and Black (2015) stated that retailers play an important role
in influencing farmers, while reading labels on containers is not a
way to change farmers’ attitudes. This might be because Chinese
farmers are more educated and not fully dependent on a single
source of information regarding the safe usage of pesticides.
Representatives of private pesticide companies play a crucial
role in the dissemination of agricultural information. Although
the main goal of pesticide companies is to sell their products, they
still play a role in the capacity building of farmers by enhancing
their knowledge, bringing about behavioral changes, introducing
new technologies, and replacing old practices with new ones. The
data presented in Fig. 1 reveal that more than two thirds of the
respondents (77.4%) receive and follow instructions on the safe
usage of pesticides made available by the agents/representatives
of the pesticide companies, while only 22.6% do not receive infor-
mation on safe pesticide usage from agents. These results are in
line with Zhang and Lu’s (2007) findings.
The respondents who receive information regarding the safe
application of pesticides from TV and radio, literature, and the
Internet are shown in Fig. 1. About 25.6% of the respondents
receive information on safe pesticide usage from TV, while nearly
three quarters (74.4%) do not receive information from TV and
radio. This might be due to their inability to purchase a TV and sub-
sequent lack of a TV set at home. One study showed that technical
handling of pesticides is be improved through FFS and short mes-
sages transmitted over the radio (Bentley et al., 2004).
Respondents who receive information on safe pesticide usage
from literature accounted for 19%, and 81% of the respondents
were not reading the literature. A total of 85.6% of respondents
do not use the Internet as a source of information; only 14.4%
use the Internet to obtain the latest information regarding new
pesticides and safety measures to adopt.
3.2.1. Level of the information received by the respondents from
different sources
The level of information regarding safe pesticide usage that the
farmers receive from different sources is measured using a nominal
scale (Yes = 2 and No = 1). The data in Table 2 show that the major-
ity of the respondents have a low level of information (65.6%) on
safe pesticide usage. This might be due to their low level of educa-
tion, as educational level is known to play an important role in
increasing knowledge (Jensen et al., 2011). About one third of the
respondents (34.4%) are provided with a medium level of informa-
tion through the available sources, and no respondents receive a
high level of information on safe pesticide usage.
3.3. Reasons for pesticide usage
Fig. 2 lists the reasons for applying pesticides according to the
respondents. The data reveal that the majority of the respondents
apply pesticides to destroy/eradicate weeds (92.8%) or insects/
pests (92.8%), and 87.7% apply pesticides to control diseases.
Research has shown that about 55% yield losses occur due to weed
infestations, insect/pest attacks, and disease outbreaks in field
crops (, 2011). Our study indicates that farmers are
well aware of the yield losses caused by weeds, insects/pests,
and diseases. Rijal et al. (2018) reported that, in Nepal, about 80%
of farmers were using chemicals/pesticides for pest management.
About 46.2% of the respondents sometimes apply pesticides to
control household pests, followed by 29.2% who always do and
24.6% who never apply pesticides to control household pests. The
respondents who always or sometimes apply pesticides for other
reasons, like veterinary purposes, account for 46.2%, and only
7.7% of the respondents do not apply pesticides for veterinary
3.4. Farmers’ problems during pesticide usage
Fig. 3 provides information on the problems faced by farmers’
regarding pesticide usage. A majority of the farmers (98.5%) report
that they always face problems with the pesticide’s effectiveness or
efficacy on insects, pests, and diseases. When asked about pesticide
price fluctuations, a majority of the respondents (88.2%) say they
always face this problem whenever they are in the market for pes-
ticides. Only 7.2% of the respondents never face any problems
regarding the price of pesticides.
As regards the services offered by the extension department,
about half of the respondents say they always face difficulties in
receiving advice from the extension department, followed by
25.1% who sometimes face problems and about 24.6% who never
face this kind of problem. Similar results were reported by Khan
Table 2
Level of information on safe pesticide usage received by respon-
dents from different sources (N = 195).
Level of information Percentage (%)
Low (10) 65.6
Medium (11–14) 34.4
Total 100.0
Fig. 2. Farmers’ reasons for applying pesticides.
1906 M. Mubushar et al. /Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 26 (2019) 1903–1910
et al. (2015), indicating that inadequate services are provided to
farmers by the extension department.
3.5. Respondents’ knowledge and practices regarding safe pesticide
The most common problems faced by the farmers regarding the
use of pesticides are identified (based on the personal knowledge
and experiences of farmers in the area, and informal conversations
with them) and are presented in Table 3 in the form of 15 ques-
tions. When asked about their pesticide purchasing behavior, the
majority of respondents (77.9%) say that they always purchase pes-
ticides for only one crop, whereas 11.8% reply that they sometimes
purchase pesticides to use on more than one crop, and 10.3% pur-
chase pesticides immediately when they notice a pest attack on a
particular crop and apply them to address the issue. Different stud-
ies conducted on the attitudes and knowledge of small landholders
showed that the common pesticide use practices in developing
countries are unsafe and cause health issues and environmental
hazards (Macharia et al., 2013; Abang et al., 2014; Damte and
Tabor, 2015).
Regarding the question about pesticide storage at home or in
animal shelters, a majority of the respondents (59.5%) store pesti-
cides at home in a separate place, 29.7% sometimes store pesticides
at home in a separate place, and 10.8% never store pesticides at
home in a separate place. Regarding the storage of pesticides on
animal farms, about 54.4% do not store them in a separate place,
indicating unhealthy practices. A total of 35.4% of farmers some-
times store them in a separate place, and a small number of
respondents (10.3%) never store pesticides at home in a separate
place. These results are in line with Konradsen et al. (2007),who
reported that a majority of the respondents (82%) in Sri Lanka kept
pesticides at home under lock and key, while 46% stored them on
their farms. The results of a study conducted in Tanzania by Lekei
et al. (2014) indicated that a majority of respondents (81%) often
used residential rooms as a storage place for their pesticides.
Zhang and Lu (2007) reported that farmers in China used bed-
rooms, granaries, and kitchens for pesticide storage.
The present study reveals that a majority of respondents
(48.2%) do not read the instructions written on pesticide bottles/-
containers. This is because most of the farmers are illiterate. The
respondents that always read the instructions account for 17.4%,
while 34.4% report that they sometimes read the instructions and
sometimes do not. Damalas and Khan (2016) noted that the major-
ity of farmers (73%) were not reading the instructions printed on
bottles/containers of pesticides. Grey et al. (2006) found that pes-
ticide bottle labels were helpful to them; however, due to low edu-
cation levels of the farmers, they were unable to read the
instructions written on the pesticide bottles/containers (Shetty
et al., 2010).
Fig. 3. Problems faced by farmers when using pesticides.
Table 3
Respondents’ knowledge and practices regarding safe pesticide usage (dependent variables) N = 195.
Practices Percentage (%) Mean Standard deviation
Always Sometimes Never
Use empty container as a utensil for other purposes in the house 0.0 1.5 98.5 2.98 0.123
Pesticides purchased only sufficient for one season 77.9 11.8 10.3 2.68 0.653
Mix with naked hands 3.6 26.2 70.3 2.67 0.544
Pesticides stored at home in a separate room 59.5 29.7 10.8 2.49 0.684
Take bath after completing the application 45.6 54.4 0.0 2.46 0.499
Eat and drink after washing hand with soap 39.0 61.0 0.0 2.39 0.489
Use small wire to remove blockage 29.2 68.7 2.1 2.27 0.490
Wash contaminated clothes in a separate load 41.5 27.7 30.8 2.11 0.846
If the nozzle gets blocked, I blow it with my mouth to clog out 21.5 49.7 28.7 2.07 0.707
Read the instructions written on the container 17.4 34.4 48.2 1.69 0.751
Smoke during pesticide applications 54.4 30.3 15.4 1.61 0.741
Pesticides can be stored in the animal shelter but in a separate room 10.3 35.4 54.4 1.56 0.674
Wear gloves and mask to protect hand and face 2.6 41.5 55.9 1.47 0.549
Dispose-off empty container according to the prescription 1.0 25.1 73.8 1.27 0.469
Wear long dress before starting a spray 2.1 5.1 92.8 1.09 0.354
Overall knowledge level of the farmers 27.04 (3) 33.5 (2) 39.46 (1)
M. Mubushar et al. /Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 26 (2019) 1903–1910 1907
Respondents who mix pesticides with their bare hands
accounted for only 3.6%, while the majority of respondents
(70.3%) avoid this. About 26.2% of respondents answer that they
sometimes mix pesticides with their bare hands. Research con-
ducted in Thailand by Jintana et al. (2009) showed that the major-
ity of respondents (88.9%) mixed pesticides with their bare hands,
69.8% were using higher concentrations than recommended, and
not a single respondent used PPE.
This study reveals that 21.5% of respondents blow into nozzles
with their mouths to clear blockages, indicating poor practices. The
study further reveals that nearly half of the respondents (49.7%)
sometimes blow into nozzles with their mouths, whereas about
28.7% of respondents never use their mouths to clear a nozzle.
The study further reveals that 29.2% of respondents clear nozzle
blockages with wires instead of using their mouths. However, a
majority of respondents (68.7%) sometimes uses wires but not
always, and only 2.1% never use wires to clear nozzle blockages.
Respondents were asked about their use of gloves and masks for
protection, and more than half (55.9%) answered ‘‘never,” followed
by 41.5% who sometimes wear them, and the rest (2.6%), who
always use gloves and masks to protect themselves from direct
pesticide exposure. Devi (2009) observed that about 80% of Indian
farmers covered their faces and heads with cloth but remained
Regarding the wearing of long clothing, a majority of the
respondents (92.8%) never wears it, but instead wear their regular
clothes while spraying; only 2.1% of the respondents always wear
long clothes when spraying. Smoking is a common behavior among
the farmers. The data in Table 3 indicate that more than half of the
respondents (54.4%) smoke during pesticide application, while
30.3% answer that they sometimes smoke and only 15.4% never
smoke during pesticide application. A study conducted by
Sekiyama et al. (2007) in Indonesia revealed that most of the farm-
ers did not wear safety gear, especially respirators/masks, and
smoked during pesticide application, indicating a major threat to
their health. Kachaiyaphum et al. (2010) indicated that three quar-
ters of farmers (76%) in Thailand did not wear protective clothes
and about 75% stored pesticides near food items. Studies con-
ducted by Damalas et al., 2006; Isin and Yildirim, 2007; Yassin
et al., 2002 produced similar results in Turkey, the Philippines,
Gaza, and Greece respectively. Similarly, only about 40% of farmers
in Iran use protective equipment when spraying (Hashemi et al.,
The eating and drinking habits of the respondents show that
most of them (61%) eat and drink during spraying with or without
washing their hands, and only 29% always wash their hands before
eating or drinking anything. Hand washing with hand sanitizer in
the field may also reduce health risks (Coronado, 2012).
While responding to the question ‘‘Do you use empty pesticide
containers at your house?” almost all of the respondents show
good knowledge about this statement. About 98.5% state that they
never use empty containers at home. This finding contradicts
Ibitayo (2006), who reported that about 80% of Egyptian farmers
did not dispose of empty containers safely but instead used them
to store drinking water. As little as 1.5% of respondents say they
sometimes use them on an animal farm. Regarding the safe dis-
posal of empty pesticide containers, the responses are not encour-
aging. About 73.8% of the respondents never dispose of pesticide
containers according to the directions, but rather throw them away
in a field and use them later. About 25.1% of respondents some-
times dispose of empty containers, and only 1% follow the direc-
tions written on the pesticide bottles/containers for safe disposal.
Regarding safety practices like taking a bath after pesticide
application, about 45.6% do this after using pesticides on their
crops. More than half of the respondents (54.4%) say that they
sometimes take a shower and sometimes do not take a bath after
the application of pesticides. Most of the respondents (41.5%) wash
clothes that are contaminated with pesticides separately, while
about 27.7% occasionally wash them separately; however, the rest
of the respondents (30.8%) never wash their contaminated clothes
separately. These results are in line with Weng and Black (2015),
who stated that about 81.8% of Taiwanese farm workers take a
shower immediately after pesticide application and change their
contaminated clothes.
3.6. Regression model of farmers’ knowledge regarding safe pesticide
usage (dependent variables)
Farmers’ knowledge and practices regarding safe pesticide
usage are assessed using 16 different questions/statements. Each
statement is evaluated against three levels (Always, Sometimes,
and Never). The results show that more than half of the respon-
dents (54.4%) have a low level of knowledge on the safe use of pes-
ticides, while 45.6% possess good knowledge. Table 4 presents the
results of the multinomial logit model, which indicates that 4 out
of 11 variables in the model are statistically significant at the
0.05 and 0.01 levels. Nagelkerke’s R
is 0.47, indicating that the
explanatory variables explain about 47% of the variation in farm-
ers’ knowledge regarding safety measures.
The education level (0.01**) of the farmers has a significant
effect on their knowledge of safety measures at the 0.01 level. Dif-
ferent studies conducted outside of Pakistan showed that farmers
with better education histories and training in the use of PPE
exhibited changed behaviors toward the adoptability of PPE
(Blanco-Munoz and Lacasana, 2011; Al Zadjali et al., 2015).
The results show that the land ownership (0.03*) and total land
size (0.002**) of the farmers significantly influences their likeli-
hood of having better knowledge of safety measures while using
pesticides at the 0.05 and 0.01 levels, respectively. This might be
due to respondents who own land having better knowledge of
the possible effects of pesticides on human health, soil, and the
environment than those who rent land for crop cultivation, do
not care about their own health, and are concerned only with
how to maximize profits from the rented land. This study reveals
that farmers who own land use pesticides judiciously, adopt safety
measures, avoid deteriorating the soil, and work to preserve the
environment for future generations. As many researchers (e.g.,
Pimentel, 2009; Hillocks, 2012) have stated, intensive use of pesti-
cides in crop production results in reduced land yields, because it
affects the soil, crops, and farmers. Landowners treat their lands
as a valuable asset, and their value depends on their levels of pro-
ductivity and soil quality. However, for rented lands, once the
yields start decreasing, farmers generally return these lands to
the owners and move on to rent other fertile (more productive)
fields. Contradicting the above viewpoint, Rahman (2003) indi-
cated that the use of pesticides increased alongside an increase
for land owned by Bangladeshi farmers. Van der Hoek and
Konradsen (2005) reported a similar trend for Singhalese farmers.
Research in Pakistan showed that the socioeconomic characteris-
tics of the respondents—such as high education level, high income,
land size, and years of experience—greatly influenced the use of
safety equipment and willingness to pay to avoid the risks associ-
ated with pesticides (Khan and Damalas, 2015).
The effect of training (0.001**) on the knowledge of safety mea-
sures to be observed when using pesticides is significant at the 0.01
level. Information received by the farmers from the agriculture
extension department indicates non-significant trends in the
regression model. This might be due to the farmers’ behavior, as
they do not rely on extension services provided by the agriculture
extension department; rather, they depend on their fellow farmers.
Educational training programs based on safety precautions could
be one way of avoiding the hazards of pesticide exposure (Ye
1908 M. Mubushar et al. /Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 26 (2019) 1903–1910
et al., 2013). Blanco-Munoz and Lacasana (2011) mentioned that
when it comes to the use of PPE, a significant change could come
from farmer training.
Land under cultivation influences the farmers to adopt more
protection measures during pesticide application because they
are exposed to pesticides for a long time. Because the majority of
farmers in this study possess small land-holdings and are not
exposed to pesticides for a long period of time and do not adopt
PPE, a non-significant relationship is realized in the regression
model. These results are in line with Okoffo et al. (2016), who con-
cluded that farmers with big land-holdings are willing to pay more
for self-protection equipment; therefore, a significant and positive
effect on the use of PPE was obtained. Pesticide usage experiences
also show a non-significant relationship in the logit regression
model. This could be because the majority of farmers have only
5–10 years’ experience in using pesticides. The farmers that pos-
sess more experience have more knowledge of safety measures.
A possible reason could be that farmers learn through their own
experiences about the negative effects of pesticides, leading to
them adopt safety measures. Our study reveals that farmers do
not have much experience using pesticides, and hence show this
coefficient is non-significant in the regression model. The results
of our study contradict the findings of Khan and Damalas (2015),
who mentioned that pesticide usage experiences greatly influ-
enced the use of safety equipment and the willingness to pay to
avoid pesticide risks.
3.7. Conclusion and recommendations
Pesticides can have negative effects on human health if they
handled improperly. The adoption and application of safety mea-
sures are necessary to avoid the detrimental effects of pesticides.
In this study, the results show that the middle-aged people of
the villages are more engaged in agriculture and farming than
the youth. Illiteracy is prevalent among farmers, and due to igno-
rance, they mainly rely on the advice of neighboring farmers and
do not get information from the Department of Agriculture (Exten-
sion) on biosafety measures. This study also reveals that farmers do
not follow the recommendations of the extension department or
the instructions printed on pesticide bottles/containers. Based on
the outcomes of this study, it is recommended that educational
programs (formal and informal) and training in pesticide usage
(Biosafety) be planned to assist farmers in enhancing their knowl-
edge and skills, and to encourage them to adopt safety measures.
The authors would like to thank the Deanship of Scientific
Research and the RSSU for their technical support and the Dean-
ship of Scientific Research (DSR) & Research Center, College of Food
and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, for financial assis-
tance. Special thanks to Muhammad Hussain and Mujahid Ali for
their help in conducting the survey. Sincere thanks are due to Prof.
Dr. Michael R. Reed, Director, International Programs for Agricul-
ture at the University of Kentucky, USA and Dr. R. Kirby Barrick,
Emeritus Professor, Agricultural Education and Communication
University of Florida, USA for reviewing the initial drafts, making
helful comments and valuable suggestions.
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Result of logit regression model of farmers’ knowledge regarding safe pesticide usage (dependent variables).
Dependent variable: Total safe use of pesticides; knowledge 1 = acceptable (above the mean), 0 = low (below the mean)
Explanatory Variable bS.E. Wald D.F Significance (p value)
Age of the respondents 1.78 1.48 1.35 1 0.42 ns
Education level 2.56 0.71 6.2 1 0.01**
Occupation 1.35 1.44 2.31 1 0.18 ns
Annual income 1.59 1.06 2.52 1 0.17 ns
Land ownership 2.11 0.95 5.26 1 0.03*
Total land size 5.22 1.69 9.25 1 0.002**
Area under cultivation 1.11 0.97 2.59 1 0.28 ns
Pesticide use period 1.25 0.89 2.11 1 0.22 ns
Extension service as a source of information 1.85 1.66 3.55 1 0.09 ns
Training 4.85 1.48 10.55 1 0.001**
Constant 2.18 2.46 0.000 1 1.000
2log likelihood = 254.1, Nagelkerke’s R
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... Melalui analisis situasi awal yang telah kami lakukan, dengan melihat dari segala aspek yaitu dari perkembangan pertanian maupun kondisi masyarakatnya, kami mengetahui bahwa mayoritas petani di desa Bagorejo masih berketergantungan menggunakan pestisida kimiawi untuk membasmi hama organisme pengganggu tanaman (OPT). Namun, penggunaan pestisida kimiawi dalam membasmi OPT menjadi sangat berbahaya apabila dilakukan dalam jangka panjang, karena pestisida kimiawi dapat meninggalkan residu pada tanah, air, dan pada hasil pertanian yang menyebabkan ancaman terhadap kesehatan mahluk hidup (Mubushar et al., 2019). Pemakaian pestisida kimiawi yang berlebihan juga menimbulkan berbagai dampak. ...
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The training needs of rice growers in Punjab, Pakistan were assessed regarding the production technology used in growing rice. Total 332 rice growers were selected through random sampling technique from tehsil Nowshera Virkan, district Gujranwala and interviewed accordingly through a face-to-face interview technique. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings indicated that farmers had adequate awareness about the weeds and their management. The demonstration was the most effective technique as used by the extension field staff to create awareness among farmers about weeds management. Social media and electronic media use were appeared least effective. This indicates that farmers were more convenient with the traditional technique of creating awareness. Regarding training needs, Rice farmers had maximum training needs regarding chemical control and identification of rice weeds. Resourceful, cost-effective, and timely weed management options are pivotal to making rice crop profitable. Thus, Agriculture Department, Punjab should be aimed at empowering the rice farmers technically, to train them through both conventional approaches (i.e. demonstration plots) and technology-led approaches (i.e. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), social media and electronic media).
... Petani umumnya menggunakan pestisida sintetis untuk mengendalikan hama pada tanaman. Namun, penggunaan pestisida sintetis yang tidak tepat dapat meninggalkan residu dalam tanah serta air dan pada akhirnya akan terangkut dalam produk pertanian yang dapat menyebabkan pencemaran lingkungan dan membahayakan kesehatan manusia atau organisme lainnya (Mubushar et al., 2019). Dampak negatif dari penggunaan pestisida dapat dikurangi dengan melaksanakan sistem pengendalian hama terpadu (PHT). ...
Abstrak. Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill merupakan salah satu cendawan yang sering digunakan sebagai agensia hayati yang berpotensi dalam mengendalikan serangga hama. Plutella xylostella L. merupakan serangga dari ordo Lepidoptera yang merupakan hama utama pada tanaman kubis yang dapat menyebabkan kehilangan hasil hingga 100% apabila tidak dikendalikan. Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk mempelajari patogenisitas cendawan B. bassiana (isolat lokal) dalam mengendalikan serangga P. xylostella secara in vitro. Penelitian ini menggunakan Rancangan Acak Lengkap (RAL) Non Faktorial yang terdiri dari 6 perlakuan dan 4 ulangan, sehingga diperoleh 24 unit percobaan. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa aplikasi cendawan B. bassiana berpengaruh nyata terhadap laju masa inkubasi, rata-rata waktu kematian, serta persentase pupa yang muncul. Rata-rata laju masa inkubasi paling lambat terdapat diantara kerapatan konidia 102 dan 103 cfu yaitu 23 jam. Rata-rata waktu kematian tercepat pada kerapatan konidia 106 cfu yaitu 2,48 hari dan terlama pada kerapatan 101 cfu yaitu 4,98 hari. Rata-rata persentase pupa yang muncul paling tinggi terlihat pada kerapatan konidia 101 cfu yaitu 10,00%, sedangkan yang paling rendah terlihat pada kerapatan konidia 104, 105 dan 106cfu yaitu 0,00%. Dengan demikian cendawan B. bassiana (isolat lokal) mampu menyebabkan patogenisitas tinggi pada larva P. xylostella.The Pathogenicity of Fungus Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuill. (Local Isolate) on Plutella xylostella Linnaeus in vitroAbstract. Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill is a fungus that is often used as a potential biological agent in controlling insect pests. Plutella xylostella L. is an insect of the order Lepidoptera which is the main pest on cabbage plants that can cause yield losses of up to 100% if not controlled. The aim of this research was to study the pathogenicity of the fungus B. bassiana (a local isolate) in controlling P. xylostella in vitro. This study used a Non-Factoral Completely Randomized Design (CRD) consisting of 6 treatments and 4 replications, so that obtained 24 experimental units. The results showed that the application of the fungus B. bassiana significantly affected the rate of incubation period, the average time of death, and the percentage of pupae that appeared. The slowest average incubation period was between conidia densities of 102 and 103 cfu, which was 23 hours. The fastest average time of death at a conidia density of 106 cfu is 2.48 days and the longest at a density of 101 cfu is 4.98 days. The highest average percentage of pupae that appeared was seen at conidia density of 101 cfu, which was 10.00%, while the lowest was seen at conidia density of 104, 105 and 106 cfu, which was 0.00%. Thus the fungus B. bassiana (local isolate) was able to cause high pathogenicity in P. xylostella larvae.
... As a result of the increased emission rate, there is a higher level of exposure. According to (Damalas and Khan, 2016), 73% of farmers couldn't understand the label instructions on pesticide containers (Mubushar et al., 2019). Found a similar tendency, with 48.2 percent of people unable to comprehend pesticide label instructions. ...
... Worldwide, about 1.8 billion people are engaged in agriculture and use approximately 1500 chemicals as pesticides. Pesticides owing to their chemical nature can cause serious environmental and health problems [18]. Global consumption of pesticides has increased to 3.5 million tons by 2020 [19]. ...
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Thyroid cancer is considered as one of the most prevalent cancers in the world. Some pesticides can play a role as a potentially important risk factor in thyroid cancer by affecting thyroid morphology and thyroid hormone homeostasis. The aim of present study was to systematically review the available epidemiological evidence for human exposure to pesticides and thyroid cancer. Articles were searched in PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science by suitable keywords from January 2000 to May 2021. Standard techniques for systematic reviews were followed in the current study and results reported according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, finally seven studies including four cohort studies and three case-control studies were reviewed. Organochlorines (OCPs) in more cases, Organophosphates (OPs) and Carbamates insecticides, herbicides and fungicides were the studied pesticides. Inconsistent results were reported in the surveyed articles on the OCPs. Two articles on the Carbamates (Carbaryl and Mancozeb) showed consistently an inverse association between exposure and thyroid cancer. Increased risk of thyroid cancer due to the exposure to the Malathion was reported in one article on the OPs. Due to the limited current knowledge about the effect of pesticides on thyroid cancer in humans, human health policies must be implemented to control individual’s exposure to chemicals through using of botanical pesticides in agricultural. Also, more studies must be done to fill this gap of knowledge.
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Increasing farmers’ incomes and empowering rural revitalization through the digital economy are important issues of widespread concern in our society today. From the perspective of aging, this paper uses the 2016, 2018, and 2020 China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) data to examine the impact of Internet usage on farm household income in the realistic context of the severe aging situation in rural areas, to explore the specific mechanisms through which aging plays a role. A further comparative analysis of the heterogeneity of Internet usage and aging effects on different sources of farm household income is performed. The study finds that Internet use by farmers increases household income, but aging diminishes the boosting effect of Internet usage on household income. By reducing off-farm employment and increasing family care, aging reduces the Internet’s boosting effect on farm household income. Among household income sources, Internet usage significantly contributes to the growth of farm household wage income. Aging dampens the growth of all income sources except transfer income. Aging enhances the boosting effect of Internet usage on the transfer income of farm households; however, it weakens its boosting effect on the wage income of farm households. Therefore, there is an urgent need to promote the construction of rural digital infrastructure, improve farmers’ digital literacy, and improve rural pension infrastructure and services, to escort the digital transformation of agriculture and rural areas and the common prosperity of farmers.
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Objectives: Occupational pesticide exposure, chlorpyrifos (CPF) in particular, may adversely affect the thyroid. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the determinants of thyroid function as indicated by the serum concentration of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) among Indonesian vegetable farmers with primary exposure to CPF. Methods: A total of 151 vegetable farmers participated in this study. The sociodemographic and occupational characteristics of the participants were obtained using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. A validated quantitative method was used to estimate the cumulative exposure level (CEL). Serum TSH, thyroglobulin (Tg), free thyroxine (FT4), and urinary iodine excretion (UIE) were measured in the laboratory. The difference in TSH concentrations according to CEL and other characteristics were analysed using the Mann-Whitney U test. A multiple linear regression model was used to evaluate the potential determinants of TSH. Results: The mean age was 50 (SD 9.4) years. The median concentrations of TSH, FT4, and Tg/FT4 ratio were 1.46 mIU/L, 1.17 ng/dL, and 6.23 × 102, respectively. We observed that higher TSH concentrations were found among those with a higher Tg/FT4 ratio, were classified as high CEL, and had lower UIE or FT4. Conclusions: Our findings show that Tg/FT4 ratio, CEL, FT4, UIE concentrations, and post-spraying days were determinants of TSH concentrations among farmers with primary exposure to CPF. These results indicate that farmers are exposed to agents with thyroid-disrupting properties, thus supporting previous evidence showing the potential for thyroid disorders in agricultural populations exposed to pesticides.
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Farmers’ knowledge on pesticides and their safe use are critical for implementing effective pest management program. A household survey was conducted using the semi-structured questionnaire to evaluate vegetable growers’ knowledge on pesticide safety and pest management practices in Nepal. Results indicated that chemical pesticides were the primary choice of over 80% growers for pest management. Notably, 90% growers were aware of adverse effects of pesticides on human health and to the environment. Over 84% growers used at least one form of personal protection equipment (PPE) during pesticide spray or handling, although the quality and appropriateness of the PPE warrants further investigation. Nearly 17% growers received at least one short-term training on integrated pest management (IPM); however, all of them neither knew the harmful effects of pesticide residues nor practiced proper pesticide disposal methods. Over 90% of growers rely on local pesticide retailers (i.e., Agro-vets) for technical know-how about pesticide selection, handling, and use. This study highlighted a need for immediate implementation of strict pesticide use regulations and recommended educational programs for pest control professionals, growers, and pesticide retailers.
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The present study was initiated to investigate the role of agricultural extension services in the area, regarding tomato. The study was conducted in four villages of Pakkhal plain of district Mansehra. The sample of 120 respondents was selected through proportional allocation sample technique. The respondents were categorized in different groups on the basis of their age, education, land holding size. It was revealed that majority (33%) of the respondents were belonged to age group of 25-35 year. In the category of literate farmers majority (28%) of respondents were those who got their education up to middle level. In the field study it was observed that majority (55%) of farmers were unsatisfied from the role and services of agricultural extension department. The main source of information / awareness of majority farmers about tomato cultivation was due to their ancestral and relatives. The agricultural extension services and role was found poor in the study area.
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Background The hazards of pesticide exposure have been a growing concern globally. The increase of susceptibility of farmers to pesticide intoxication is due to lack of knowledge regarding safe and proper pesticide handling. The aim of this study was to evaluate cocoa farmers’ pesticide exposure by assessing the ways in which they store pesticides, operational habits exhibited during and after pesticide application and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during pesticide application in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. Methods Two hundred and forty (240) cocoa farmers were randomly selected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. ResultsMajority of the farmers were aware of the negative effects of pesticides on their health and the environment if not well handled. Despite the awareness, most farmers did not handle pesticides with care and do not adhere to the use of PPE, hence, increasing their risks to danger of exposure to pesticides. Storage of pesticides in bedrooms was reported by 22.5 % of farmers; an indication of a high risk of pesticides exposure through direct inhalation. Cocoa farmers’ in the study area exhibited operational habits such as eating, drinking water and alcohol, smoking cigarette and tobacco pipes, chewing gum and sticks, talking, using the mouth to remove blockages from sprayer nozzles, stirring pesticides with bare hands, among others during pesticides application. The survey revealed that only 35 % of farmers put on full PPE while 45 % put on partial PPE [which is any or combination of the following; cap/hat, respirator, goggle, rubber glove, overall and wellington boot (rubber boot)] during pesticides application. On the other hand, 20 % of farmers in the study area applied pesticides without wearing PPE. These practices expose farmers to adverse health risks. Factors that influenced farmers’ decision to use PPE included farming experience, age of farmer, access to extension service, availability of a chemical shop, farm size and educational level. Conclusion The results indicate high risks of exposure of cocoa farmers in the study area to toxicity and health hazards of pesticides due to mishandling and habits exhibited during pesticide application. There is a need to improve habits of safe use and handling of pesticides among farmers through education and training. There is also a need for education on the use of PPE during pesticides application to avoid exposure and health hazards.
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Vegetable growers’ knowledge of pest and their control method was assessed in 2014 in East Shewa zone, Ethiopia. Vegetable growers were well aware of key pests of vegetables, although some of them did not consider pests as constraint to vegetable production. All respondents scouted their vegetables for pests and used presence or absence of pest as criterion for spraying. About 76% of the respondents read pesticide label before buying pesticides, while the rest 24% of the respondents did not read pesticide labels. All vegetable growers sprayed insecticide, whereas fungicides and herbicides were applied by 90% and 7% of the respondents, respectively. About 72% of the respondents washed their sprayer after each application day and discharged the washings onto the soil. Moreover, the majority (62%) of the respondents threw empty pesticide containers around the field. Also, it was found that 71% of the respondents did not use personal protective equipment (PPE) while spraying pesticides, but a few used one or two types of PPE. More than half of the respondents sprayed pesticides on mature crops and sold the produce within three to five days.
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The purpose of this study was to assess Taiwanese fruit farm workers’ knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, and clothing practices regarding pesticide activities. Seventyseven fruit farm workers from four districts of Tainan City, Taiwan completed the questionnaire. Results indicated that farmer workers had a good overall level of knowledge of the adverse effects of pesticides on human health and most had experienced symptoms of pesticide poisoning. Farm workers’ attitudes toward pesticide use and handling indicated that they saw pesticides useful in controlling pests. Farm workers indicated the limited availability of comfortable clothing designed for a hot and humid climate while still providing sufficient protection was the main reason for not wearing personal protective clothing (PPC) and personal protective equipment (PPE). Emphasis on safety precautions is needed when using pesticides, and the importance of PPC and PPE is essential for the health of farm workers.
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Insect pests are the major source of crop damage, yield and quality reduction in Pakistan and else where in the world. Cotton crop is the most hit crop in Pakistan followed by rice and the second most important foreign exchange earning crop. A wide variety of staple, horticultural and cash crops grown, reflect serious problems of many types of insect pests. To overcome the insect pest problem, pesticide use in Pakistan has increased substantially which has now been further intensified. Pesticides worth more than billions of rupees are imported every year. This paper reviews the over all pesticide use in Pakistan in relation to pesticide prices, support price of cotton and rice, pesticide use in different provinces of Pakistan on different crops and their impact on crop productivity. The environmental pollution caused by the use of pesticides, contamination of soil and water resources and the danger associated with the disposal of their empty containers is also discussed in detail.
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Intensive survey involving 1039 farmers belonging to 28 districts in 12 Indian states was carried out in pesticide use predominant regions to study the influence of farmer's awareness, education and practices related to pesticide use as well as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures. Data were collected through pre-tested schedules by trained field investigators and the data were analysed by suitable statistical package (SPSS). The results revealed that though overall consumption of pesticide decreased, the expenditure incurred on pesticides remained high. Most of the respondents in the surveyed area followed their own spraying schedules and pesticide doses to manage ever increasing insect pests and disease problems. More than 50 % of the respondents applied both single and cocktail pesticides to manage their crop pests. Greater number of the literate farmers had strong perception on the negative impacts of pesticides on soil, water, air and beneficial organisms. Only 20 % of the respondents obtained their information on plant protection aspect from the agricultural extension officer and the rest of 80% of the farmers used unreliable information in crop production of surveyed areas. The respondents in the study regions were of the opinion that chemical methods of pest control are very effective in combating serious pest infestation. In the study area it was observed that only 3 % of the respondents followed organic farming in a successful way. The total area under organic farming in India is negligible. There is a tremendous scope for agricultural extension activity through which stewardship can be achieved in these pesticide predominant regions. Nevertheless, costs on ever increasing safety measures for pesticide applicators would be an additional burden which is to be considered seriously under resource poor small and medium holding systems in India.
The label of pesticide containers is a major source of information for the use of pesticides, but research on whether farmers use this information is scarce. A survey of small-scale cotton farmers was conducted in the area of Punjab, Pakistan, to study attitudes related with the use of pesticide labels. The majority of the farmers (97%) stated that they were using pesticide products purchased in their original containers and accompanied by written information for use. However, 73% of the farmers reported that they usually do not read this information. Elderly, less educated, and experienced farmers in chemical pest control, but without previous training, were found to be less likely to read the labels. A large part of the farmers (34%) stated that they primarily rely on information of pesticide retailers for pesticide use, while nearly four out of ten said they usually rely on other sources of information or their own experience with pesticides. A sizeable proportion of the farmers (9%) mentioned that there is no need to receive information on such issues. Effective pesticide risk communication conveyed through label information is important so that potential risks from pesticide handling may be mitigated at the point of use.
The amount of pesticides used in crop production in Pakistan has increased rapidly in the last decades, whereas farmers in many areas of the country show little knowledge of safe and efficient use of pesticides. The level of willingness to pay (WTP) for avoiding health risks by pesticides was studied among 318 randomly selected cotton farmers from two districts of the area of Punjab (i.e., Vehari and Lodhran) in Pakistan, using the contingent valuation method. Most farmers felt that pesticide use is a prerequisite for successful cotton production, whereas at the same time they were well aware of pesticide health risks, which they considered minor. The majority of the farmers (77%) showed varying levels of WTP some fee up to 20% of the current pesticide expenditures for avoiding pesticide health risks, but few were willing to pay a fee over 20%. The mean WTP per farmer was low, reaching 5.8 $US on an annual basis. By contrast, a considerable proportion of the farmers (23%) were not willing to pay any fee for avoiding pesticide health risks. These individuals were mostly poor small-scale farmers with limited or no education. High levels of risk perception about pesticides, past experience of pesticide intoxication, high levels of education, and high income were associated with high farmers' WTP for less health risks by pesticides. Farmers who perceived major health risks by pesticides appeared to be highly willing to pay a premium for safe pesticides. Elderly farmers appeared more likely to pay some premium for safe pesticides as a result of higher farming experience and higher income than young farmers. Well-educated farmers were more likely to pay a high premium for safe pesticides. Large farm size was a significant predictor of positive WTP, which was interpreted as an indicator of farmers' wealth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.