Pesticides use in cocoa sector in Cameroon: characterization of supply source, nature of actives ingredients, fashion and reasons for their utilization
The chemical control is the widely control method applied in Cameroon for pests and diseases by all the cocoa producers without technical suitable assistance by the State as before 1980’S. However, it is known that farmers have less knowledge on the good pesticides use for the control of a specific pest. The objective of this study was to provide insight in current pesticide use in the cocoa sector in Cameroon. A stratified sampling scheme was used. A total of 251 cocoa farmers, 20 post-harvest cocoa traders and 37 chemical retailers were randomly selected and interviewed. The study showed that 35 different chemicals were marketed in Cameroon for use in cocoa: 4 herbicides, 11 fungicides and 20 insecticides. Of 251 farmers consulted, 96.8% said that they use pesticides on their farms while 3.2% did not. Fungicides were used most often by farmers 61.8%) followed by insecticides (38.2%). Eight active ingredients although, officially banned, were still being used on cocoa farms. Over 77% of farmers do not respect the official spray recommendations for chemicals. Moreover, 64% do not respect recommended doses. Two main pesticide-supply-pathways exist in Cameroon: a legal and illegal supply chain, which provides 51% of pesticides to cocoa farmers, resulting in an estimated loss of value added tax for the Cameroonian government of about 550 000 to 2.4 million Euros per year. These results suggest that improved pests and diseases control by the State and raising farmer awareness about pesticide use in cocoa could greatly attribute to more sustainable cocoa economy in Cameroon.
Keywords : Cocoa, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, Cameroon.