Critical Evaluation of Types and Classification of Pesticides Used on Tomatoes Grown in Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kirinyaga County, Kenya

In the Mwea Irrigation System, this study assessed 403 farmers from open fields and greenhouses on the types and classifications of pesticides used by farmers to combat pests and diseases in tomatoes from July 2017 to June 2018. Without the use of pesticides in industrialized and developing countries, it is virtually impossible to produce enough food to satisfy market demand for quality and quantity. Five greenhouse tomato farmers were chosen deliberately, while the sample size was determined using Fisher’s formula for 196 open field farmers. To collect data from 201 farmers in the Gathingiri, Tebere, Kangai, Wamumu, Murinduko, Nyangati, Mutithi and Thiba wards, a cross-sectional design using a formal questionnaire and focus group discussions was used. Pre-testing of the questionnaire on tomato farmers from the neighbouring sub-county of Maragua ensured the accuracy of the results. Errors were corrected and the questionnaire added omissions. In order to determine significant differences between variables, descriptive statistics were carried out for frequencies, ratios, means, standard errors, variance and data subjected to T-test at 95 percent confidence intervals. Results from interviews showed that farmers applied 57 and 12 pesticides to tomatoes in open fields and greenhouses, respectively, under different trade names. Among others, pyrethroids, carbamates, nicotinoids, organophosphates, and organochlorines have been added to tomatoes. WHO class II (60 percent) and WHO class III (42 percent), respectively, were the 20 and 12 pesticides primarily used in open fields and greenhouses. In order to manage a wide range of major pests and diseases such as Tuta absoluta and blight, farmers have relied heavily on various types of pesticides. The main pesticides used on tomatoes are chlorantraniliprole and mancozeb. In order to avoid human health hazards, most WHO toxic class II pesticides, including pyrethroids and carbamates, should be used according to the guidelines of the manufacturers. Compliance with the requirements for the use of pesticides would prevent residues from occurring in tomatoes and other vegetables and thereby minimize their effect on human health. Training and knowledge of the use of less toxic pesticides equally effective in controlling pests and diseases, such as WHO classes III and IV, and bio-pesticides with minimal adverse effects on human health, are needed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Kirinyanga County Government.

Author (s) Details

Mrs. Momanyi, Violet Nakhungu
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Kenyatta University, P.O.Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Food Crops Research Centre, KALRO Kabete, P.O.Box 14733-00800, Nairobi, Kenya.

Prof. N. Keraka, Margaret
School of Public Health, Kenyatta University, P.O.Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. A. Abong’o, Deborah
Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O.Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. N. Warutere, Peterson
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Kenyatta University, P.O.Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

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