Chemical pesticides ? good and bad practice
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CTA. 2008. Chemical pesticides ? good and bad practice. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57425
Advice on choosing, mixing and applying chemical pesticides
Chemical pesticides - good and bad practice Cue: Chemical pesticides can be a valuable tool in crop production. However, to use them properly, the farmer must have a good understanding both of the pests and of the chemicals themselves. For example, farmers need to identify the pest species in order to know which type of chemical will be effective in controlling it. They also need to know whether it is economically worthwhile to use a chemical, how the chemical should be applied, in what concentration, and how long the chemical will remain active after spraying. Without this knowledge, usage of pesticides is likely to be ineffective, and potentially harmful to the environment and to human health. In North West Cameroon, the government?s Phytobase service is working to improve pesticide usage by farmers, and to promote IPM, Integrated Pest Management. Michael Mboh, Chief of Service for Phytobase in the province spoke to Martha Chindong about some of the good and bad practices in chemical use, and about the place of chemicals within IPM. IN: ?First of all it is a holistic approach ? OUT: ? Thank you.? DUR?N: 5?29? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Mr Michael Mboh, on some of the problems that can occur when chemical pesticides are improperly used. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Mboh First of all it is a holistic approach. That is we use every available method that we can have and chemicals or pesticides only come in as a last resort when all the other systems have been exhausted. Chindong If I get you well it means that the chemical control is part of the integrated pest management system? Mboh Of course. Chindong Which type of chemicals are safe and hygienic for the farmers to use in this system? Mboh They are usually proposed or recommended based on their persistence. Persistence is the period that this chemical will remain active on the crops and when consumed can be lethal to the consumers. Chemicals are divided into food crops and cash crops because cash crops they spend more time on the field, food crop and vegetables they take a shorter time. So some vegetables take seven days to harvest so they use those pesticides that take seven days for their activeness to disappear. I would not advise a farmer to treat tomatoes that they harvest after every seven days using a pesticide that has three month persistence. Chindong What are the quantities of the pesticides used? Mboh They have the chemical labels which tells us the quantity and for what quantity of water and on what surface. Chindong It means that before using it the farmer should study the instruction inside a chemical very well? Mboh We know most farmers they make not understand or they may read the labels and not understand but all those things are on the label but the government has done a lot, putting in place village phytosanitary brigades. These people are able, like the nurses and the doctors in health centres, to tell the farmer the quantity and quantity of water to be used and in what type of spray because the spraying method depends on the formulation of the chemical because in formulation we are looking at about liquid, powder, granules and all the like, there are quite a good number of them. Chindong Some farmers use brooms in spraying these chemicals. Is it advisable? Mboh Well I want to say that it is not advisable because I think they do that when they are desperate, they do not have the equipment. Using brooms, how do they measure the chemicals? Because most of our spray equipment is 15 litres to this amount of chemical. How do they mix the chemicals? So they use a broom it is a wrong usage and we do not advise farmers to do that. Chindong What are the consequences of wrong pesticide usage on the pest, the environment and the farmer himself? Mboh Well the first thing is that the farmer tends to be the first victim. That is when you use chemical poorly by not being well protected in terms of body protective equipment, we risk chemical poisoning. Then when you do not respect the dosage you still risk chemical poisoning because the concentration of what would have been applied is not what you are doing. So in the case of intoxication the antidote cannot work. And then the second one, we know we are living in a world where we are talking about biodiversity. That is we do not live exclusively alone, we are living with other creatures that we sustain them and they sustain us. So when we have wrong usage of pesticide we destroy the fauna and the flora. And then there is environmental pollution, when we do not use chemicals rightly. Like you will find a farmer after using the sprayers or spraying they go and wash their sprayers in running streams. They kill fishes and all the others in the food chain are destroyed. Then sometimes farmers get pesticide, especially oily solutions and they burn it. You can imagine it is an atmospheric pollution. You will find residues of pesticides in the air in form of fumes and then people have to breathe them and you know breathing and inhaling pesticides, they can lead to intestinal cancer or breathing organ cancer and all the like, and then most farmers get blind when they do not protect themselves very well. Chindong Is it due to wrong usage of pesticides that some insects develop resistance? Mboh Of course. This one is a little bit complicated but I hope it is easy to understand. A wrong usage of pesticide by under dosage can lead to resistance in the target pests. So they develop a gene that that particular insecticide will no more kill them and then subsequent generations will never be affected by that pesticide. Chindong Thank you for making yourself available to us. Mboh Thank you. End of track