Study on Agrochemical Handling and Use in Magu District
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Study on Agrochemical Handling and Use in Magu District Musabila K. Nyanda Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, PADEP, P.O. Box 13798, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
This reports on a study on handling and use of agro-chemicals in Magu District, Mwanza Region, Tanzania. It has been found that there is misuse and improper handling of the chemicals. Farmers lack enough knowledge of the dangers associated with improper handling and use of agro-chemicals. Sixty percent of the interviewed farmers apply manure in their fields but not at the recommended rates due to either ignorance or lack of transport facilities. Farmers also apply agro-chemicals in horticultural farms at rates that are, in most cases, higher than those recommended. The recommended safety intervals between applications of pesticides and crop harvesting are not observed and farmers do not use protective gears during handling and use of pesticides. Empty pesticide containers are either kept for domestic uses or are disposed of haphazardly. The reasons for this misuse and improper handling are lack of knowledge by farmers, poverty, and inadequate extension services. It is recommended that appropriate measures to ensure safe handling and use of agro-chemicals must be taken to avoid adverse effects on the environment and public health. Training of farmers, extension staff and input stockists should be enhanced to foster proper handling and use of agro-chemicals thus reduce/eradicate the rate of misuse incidents.