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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 759049, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/759049
Research Article

A Cross-Sectional Study of Pesticide Use and Knowledge of Smallholder Potato Farmers in Uganda

1DCE Crop Systems Intensification and Climate Change (CSI-CC), International Potato Center (CIP), P.O. Box 22274, Kampala, Uganda
2DCE Crop Systems Intensification and Climate Change (CSI-CC), International Potato Center (CIP), P.O. Box 1558, Lima 12, Peru

Received 7 July 2015; Accepted 16 September 2015

Academic Editor: Peter P. Egeghy

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Sikhu Okonya and Jürgen Kroschel. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In response to increased pest and disease problems, potato farmers use pesticides, which could raise environmental and health concerns. This study sought to promote proper and safe pesticide-handling practices by providing data needed to guide pesticide regulation policy and training for extension staff and farmers. A household survey was conducted in three major potato-growing agroecological zones of Uganda. Two hundred and four potato farmers were interviewed about the type and source of pesticides they use in potato cultivation, the frequency of applications, the use of protective clothing, and cases of pesticide poisoning. The types of pesticides used in potato were fungicides (72%), insecticides (62%), and herbicides (3%). Overall, use of personal protective equipment was low, that is, gumboots (73%), gloves (7%), face masks (16%), and long sleeve shirts (42%). Forty-three percent of farmers who applied pesticides reported having experienced skin itching, 25% skin burning sensation, 43% coughing, 60% a runny nose, 27% teary eyes, and 42% dizziness. An IPM approach involving only moderately to slightly hazardous pesticides when pest and disease incidence has reached economic injury levels and by considering all safety measures during application and storage would be environmentally recommendable and result in reduced health risks.