Significant loss in agricultural produce is caused by pests and diseases which can be controlled by use of pesticides. However, pesticides possess inherent toxicities that endanger the health of the farmers, consumers and the environment. This survey was conducted between March and April 2019 on randomly selected horticultural farmers in three subzones of Elabered, Keren and Hamelmalo in larger Anseba region of Eritrea. Most famers reported growing more than one type of crops on their land. The most common crops grown were tomatoes (45%), Pepper (60%) potatoes, (46) okra (22%), Jute mallow (12%) cabbages (52%), Lettuce (23%) and onions (47%). The survey found out that the main pesticides used by the farmers in this region was malathion (68%), indoxacarb (33%), dimetox (17%), perimethrin (3%) and immidacloprid (1%). Fungicide Sulphur was used by 23% of farmers. Farmers were using these pesticides to control mostly white fly, aphids, mango fruit fly, African bolt worm, thrips and scale insects. The study also found out that most of the farmers (72%) do not follow instructions labelled on the pesticide container and instead they seek information from experts (26%), sellers (57%), friends (5%), while others guess the instructions (4%). The farmers reportedly stores pesticides at home (56%), in the farm fields (32.7%) and in separate store (11.3%). Disposal of empty containers after pesticide application was also studied. 51.8% of the respondent farmers simply throw away the empty containers, 29% of the farmers burry them underground, 9% of the farmers store them at home, 4.5% of the respondents destroy them and throw them away, 3% of the farmers wash and reuse them while 2.7% of the farmers burn them. Majority of the respondents (63%) claimed that they were using PPEs during pesticide application. Findings of this study clearly suggest that it is necessary to reduce possible health hazards and environmental risks associated with pesticide use by documenting risk perceptions and developing ways to address them through farmers training and awareness. The Ministry of Agriculture should intensify training to farmers regarding safe use of pesticide, storage and disposal.
Saphan Anode, Elikta Yemane, Filmon Tesfalem, Meron Mengisteab, Soliana Yemaneab. Survey on handling and application of chemical pesticides at farmers level in anseba region, Eritrea. International Journal of Advanced Chemistry Research, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2019, Pages 09-13