KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES (KAP) OF FARMERS REGARDING THE USE OF PESTICIDE: A CASE STUDY OF A COCOA FARING COMMUNITY IN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
Keywords:Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Farmers, pesticide, cocoa farming
A questionnaire survey and observation study of 125 cocoa farmers using pesticide in a southwestern Nigerian farming community shows a high risk of exposure to pesticides among the farmers. This was due to low level of knowledge, awareness and practices among the farmers about the use of pesticides. Up to 89% of the farmers had no training in the proper use of pesticides while their main source of information about pesticide was experience gained from parents (63%). None of the farmers wore protective apparel while spraying. As many as 74% neither changed nor washed their work clothes after spraying while 67% reused their empty pesticide container. Exposure to pesticide was not limited to the farmers alone as some other members of the farming families especially young children were found to be exposed. The pesticides used by the farmers were those containing Aldrin, Gamma BHC (Benzene Hexachloride), Cuprous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, and Paraquat dichloride which are hazardous to human and environmental health and have therefore been banned, severely restricted or unregistered in many countries. Appropriate measures to reduce the risk of health hazards faced by farmers exposed to pesticides are recommended.