PESTICIDE USE AND HEALTH HAZARDS AMONG COCOA FARMERS: EVIDENCE FROM ONDO AND KWARA STATES OF NIGERIA
The study investigated the health implications of pesticide use by cocoa farmers in Ondo and Kwara States of
Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was adopted in the selection of 260 cocoa farmers in the study area. Data
were collected with the aid of questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics and multivariate probit
(MVP) regression model. Results from the study indicated that the cocoa farmers were getting aged with a mean
age of 50 and 55 years and educational level of mainly primary school in Ondo and Kwara States, respectively.
The predominant health effects experienced by the cocoa farmers resulting from pesticide exposure in the study
areas were skin irritation (70.7%), breathing difficulty (69%) and eye irritation (65.9%). The results of the MVP
revealed that total pesticide dose used increased the probability of the cocoa farmers experiencing eye irritation
(p<0.05), skin irritation (p<0.01), dizziness (p<0.05), breathing difficulty (p<0.05) and stomach cramps
(p<0.01), while reading and adherence to instructions on pesticide labels and manuals reduced the probability of
the cocoa farmers experiencing eye irritation (p<0.05), dizziness (p<0.05), breathing difficulty (p<0.01) and
stomach cramps (p<0.05). The study recommended that pesticide labels should be made comprehensible to
farmers with little or no education through the use of pictorials on how to use and apply pesticides. This should
accompany pesticide packages at the point of sales.