Use of Herbicides among Rural Women Farmers in Abia State, Nigeria
The study examined the use of herbicides among rural women farmers in Abia State, Nigeria. Using a multistage sampling technique, 70 farmers were selected. Data were collected using structured interview schedule and were analysed using descriptive statistics. Some of the herbicides used by the respondents were Primextra (22.9%), Force up (21.5%), Raze down (18.6%) and Tackle (18.6%). The majority (64.3%) applied herbicide twice in one growing season. The mean quantity applied was 8.5 litres. On the farmers’ knowledge level of use of herbicides, the majority (51.8%) of the women had moderate knowledge on herbicide technology The respondents practised cleaning and rinsing of sprayers after use (x̄ =1.31), using separate utensil for mixing herbicides (x̄ =1.39) and washing of clothes used or spraying separately from other clothes (x̄ =1.14). The perceived major constraints to the use of herbicides were inadequate training (x̄ =1.12), inadequate awareness (x̄ =1.10), and high cost of herbicides (x̄ =1.07). The study concluded that most of the farmers had moderate level of knowledge and poor practises on herbicide use and this will likely have negative impact on the crop and health of farmers and hence recommended increase in extension contact for awareness and training of farmers on right use of herbicides.
Keywords: Herbicides use, rural women and knowledge level