Pesticide Handling Practices by Vegetable Farmer in Kenya
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Pesticide handling practices have a strong bearing on the exposure of toxic effects to target and nontarget organism. A clear understanding of determinants of pesticide handling practices is a precondition in the design and implementation of policy intervention. To accomplish this, a household survey of 425 respondents was conducted in 2008. Majority of the farmers (85 %) had inappropriately handled pesticides, mainly through, unsafe storage (23 %), unsafe disposal of leftover in either sprays solutions, or rinsate and empty pesticide containers (40 %), failure to wear the required minimum protective gear (68 %), or overdosed pesticides (27 %). However, majority of those farmers were aware of the risks of pesticide use, with over 81 % expressing the view that pesticides have harmful effects on human health, livestock, beneficial arthropods, and on water. Econometric models showed that pesticide handling practices were significantly influenced by variation in record keeping, main source advice on pesticide use, toxicity of pesticide, and geographical location. Pesticide risk perception and negative impacts experiences had no association with handling practices. The study recommends policymakers to design effective, participatory, and location targeted outreach programmes, which deal specifically on promotion of record keeping and reduction in use of harmful pesticides.