Patterns of Agrochemical Handling and Community Response in Central Kenya

Citation:
Mwanthi MA, Mseh BS, Kimani VN. "Patterns of Agrochemical Handling and Community Response in Central Kenya.". 1993.

Abstract:

During the last decade, importation and use of pesticides and fertilizers in Kenya has more than tripled. Improper handling of these chemicals by the small scale farmers continues to pose untold health risks. In an effort to assess the magnitude of the problems emanating from improper handling of these agrochemicals, a study was conducted in a rural agricultural community in Kenya between 1987 and 1990. The study investigated the extent of use of agrochemicals by farmers, the level of awareness of the dangers posed by these chemicals, and attitudes toward agricultural chemicals. The study population consisted of all 1,797 households in 10 villages randomly selected by cluster sampling in the Githunguri location of Kiambu District. Despite their limited knowledge of safety in handling and storage of agrochemicals or of the antidote for accidental poisoning, 100 percent of the farmers used pesticides extensively. Various health complaints related to agrochemicals were reported. By and large the community's or the individuals' lack of awareness of the risks associated with use of agrochemicals is believed to have contributed to some of the agrochemical poisonings. An intervention program has been initiated with the community as a key participant. The main emphasis is on safe procedures for handling agrochemicals.

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