Volume 6, Issue 1, February Issue - 2018, Pages:168-175
|Authors: Fahad Aldosari, Muhammad Mubushar*, Mirza B. Baig|
|Abstract: Current study was intended to assess the farmers’ knowledge and reliance on sustainable use of pesticides. Reduction in pesticide usage is very a simple strategy but it requires systematic programs, management of multiple pests and the variety of tactics to control invasive species. Development of transgenic crops; use of natural enemies and other cultural practices help reducing pesticide usage. Randomly 205 farmers were selected to conduct the study. Data were collected by using a questionnaire during face to face interviews of some 195 farmers. The majority of the respondents did not receive any training on sustainable use of pesticides. The study revealed that training on pest counting helps in sustainable pesticide usage. About 66.7% farmers did not receive any training on alternative pest control methods that clearly indicates their dependency on use of pesticides (chemicals). However, a positive correlation was realized between total number of trainings received by the respondents and their profile (age, education and pesticide using experience). Sustainable usage of pesticides protects crops from harmful insects, pests and diseases; reduces health hazards, minimizes all types of pollutions (Air, soil, water) and farming costs. Policy makers and extension workers should create awareness among farmers on the alternative pest controlling methods and diffuse to meet the objective of the sustainable pesticide uses. This paper would capture attention of policy makers, working on sustainable agriculture development. A communication gap was realized among the farmers and the concerns department on alternative pest controlling methods. Diffusion of alternative pest controlling methods and sustainable use of pesticide could be enhanced by organizing educational and training sessions use in study area.|
|Full Text: Agriculture contributes roughly 19.8% towards gross domestic product (GDP) to the economy of Pakistan and provides livelihood to about 42.5% of the rural people (GoP, 2016). On the global level, about 1.8 billion people are associated with agriculture and use chemicals to protect their crops from diseases, insects and pests to ensure food security by realizing healthy crops (Grube et al., 2004). A large number of chemical compounds like fungicides, nematicides, insecticides, molluscicides, rodenticides, herbicides, and plant growth hormones are considered as the pesticides (Xiao et al., 2010). Many studies revealed that in recent years, the use of pesticides have increased by 9% or even more per hectare in most developing countries including Pakistan (Jin et al., 2010; Schreinemachers & Tipraqsa, 2012). Now-a-days, concern has been growing that improper dispose of the pesticide waste can create serious threats to human and environment (Szadkowska-Stanczyk & Buczynska, 2005). Wastes of Pesticides include materials that is not to be used or will not be used and must be disposed-of. It also includes empty bottles, surplus solution, water used for cleaning equipment, and old pesticide products (Nesheim & Fishel, 2005). Empty containers may have enough unused quantity if they are not rinsed well and could cause serious problems in many situations (Braun et al., 1983; Ntow et al., 2006; Recena et al., 2006). It is possible to make the use of pesticides limited through the careful integration of available pest control techniques that discourage pest population development and keep pesticides and other interventions to the levels that are economically justified, safe for human health, and environment (FAO, 1994). The pest population can be suppressed by implying natural enemies that are eco-friendly and help in yield losses without damaging the environment (Ostman et al., 2003). Factors like elimination of key pests, invasive species, rapid adoption and widespread planting of transgenic crops and the extensive use of pesticides have altered many agro-ecosystems (Fuchs, 2007; Spurgeon, 2007). A study was conducted under the national project with main objectives of sustainable profitable and environmentally sound production of cotton through the development promotion and practice of alternative pest controlling methods by farmers. The findings of study revealed that about 25% more yield and a net amount of RS 3705 (38.03% profit increase over growers plots) were realized in the plots receiving alternative pest controlling methods (Mallah & Korejo, 2007). A large number of farmers (10,000) become intoxicated each year through the improper use of pesticides in cotton growing areas of Pakistan. Due to the low knowledge levels on the harmful effects of the exposure to the pesticide, farmers and farm-workers rarely adopt precautionary measures while applying pesticides (Ejaz et al., 2004; Khan, 2012). These negative effects of pesticides can be minimized by focusing more on alternative methods for sustainable crop production and by reducing the use of pesticides. Farmers of the study are not well aware of alternative pest management approaches and fully relying on the pesticides for sustainable production as they believe that chemicals are the only solution to control insects-pests. In order to popularize the use of alternative methods to control insect-pests and discourage the use of pesticides, it is important to assess the knowledge levels of the farmers on the subject so that meaningful training programs in the discipline be chalked out. Before conducting the actual survey, it was realized in the informal discussions with the farmers that there is an urgent need of training programs in study area (Sahiwal). There is a need to discourage the extensive use of pesticide and help farmers adopting alternative methods by changing farmers’ behavior towards chemicals and wipe-off misleading beliefs about employing the alternative methods to control pests. In the situation, it seems imperative to undertake studies to explore the farmer's knowledge and practices on safe guarding the crops and discouraging intensive usage of pesticide. This study would help extension department to develop extension, educational and capacity building programs for the farmers on reducing the use of pesticides. 2 Materials and Methods 2.1 The study area The study was undertaken in Tehsil Sahiwal, District of Sahiwal, Pakistan. It lies between 30.66oN latitude and 73.10oE longitude, and is 500 ft. (150 m) above sea level (Figure A). District of Sahiwal administratively divided in two municipalities called tehsil (Tehsil Sahiwal & Tehsil Chichawatni). Each Tehsil is further administratively divided into Union Councils (UCs). District of Sahiwal consists of 81 UCs and approximately 531 villages. In Tehsil Sahiwal, there are 52 UCs and 315 villages whereas 11 UCs fall in urban and 41 in the rural zones. 2.2 Methodology Descriptive survey method was adopted to determine the effect of trainings on pesticides reduction on crops by the farmers based on proposed objectives. A descriptive survey method was used to collect data as it is known to be an appropriate method for obtaining peoples’ perceptions on social issues and facts prevailing in a specific region or location. Cluster sampling technique was used to obtain the data for this study. One village was selected from each UC through random sampling technique. Then finally five farmers were interviewed from each randomly selected village. To make the study sample, in total 205 farmers were selected from the 41 UCs and interviewed to collect the data for the study purposes. However ten incomplete questionnaires were not included in the study, making the sample size 195. All the collected data were coded, entered into the computer and analyzed by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages for categorical variables, and Mean sand standard deviation (SD) were used. For dependent variable correlation was employed appropriately to test the significant differences or associations between independent and dependent variables. 3 Results and Discussion 3.1 Socioeconomic profile of the respondents The profiles of the respondents are represented in figure A, B and C. The data have shown that majority of the respondents (34.87%) fall in middle age group (30-39 years) followed by age group (40-49 years) that were accounted 29.23%. Approximately 20.51% respondents associated with the agricultural activities were in the age group of 20-29 years and some 15.38% respondents were with age greater than 50 years. Muddassir et al. (2016) conducted research in Pakistan and reported the similar results about the age groups of the respondents. As for as education is concerned, majority of the respondents (39.49%) were illiterate and those who got secondary and matriculation level education were about 26.15% and 20%, respectively. Whereas, only 14.36% of the respondents engaged in agricultural activities had higher level of education. |
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