Insecticide use pattern on tomatoes produced at Yonso community in the Sekyere West District of Ashanti Region, Ghana
AbstractThe study investigated the farming practices of tomato growers that might lead to insecticidal contamination of tomato fruits produced. An interview guide was used to collect data from 100 tomato growers, selected using the snowball non-probability sampling technique, at Yonso in the Sekyere West District of the Ashanti Region. The data were collected on the type of insecticide used, the rate of insecticide used in the spray mixture, the sources of insecticides, and the waiting period allowed after last insecticide application and harvest. The chi-square test was used to establish whether there was any relationship between education and insecticide usage. The study showed that more males (82%) than females (18%) were into tomato cultivation, and that about 58 per cent of the respondents, who had attained secondary/technical level of education, used the recommended insecticides (Karate, Diazinon, and Sumithion) to produce tomatoes. Such insecticides are known to be less persistent on the fruit and, thus, could degrade easily. However, 42 per cent of them used insecticides not recommended for vegetables. These included Polytrine, Delphos, Thiodan, Thionex, Cypercal, Dursban, and Fastac. The non-recommended insecticides were the persistent ones that did not degrade easily and, thus, might leave residues on the crops harvested. The farmers applied the insecticides when they detected pests (52%), when the appearance of the plant changed (20%), when infestation was more pronounced (18%), and during transplant (10%). However, most respondents who used the recommended insecticides (69%) did not use the recommended dosage in the spray mixture, and some did not abide by the pre-harvest intervals. However, this study did not determine the rate of breakdown of the insecticides. The study also showed that respondents relied on information on the choice and usage of insecticides from sources, such as agro-chemical sellers (44%), fellow farmers (35%) and personal discretion (8%), other than from extension officers (13%) who were the experts in the field.
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