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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, pp. 10682-10696
Bioline Code: nd16012
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, pp. 10682-10696

Mwatawala, Maulid W. & Yeyeye, Gervas E.


Pesticide residues in food and environment pose serious health risks to human beings. Plant protection laws, among other things, regulate misuse of agricultural pesticides. Compliance with such laws consequently reduces risks of pesticide residues in food and the environment. Studies were conducted to assess the compliance with plant protection laws among tomato farmers in Mvomero District, Morogoro Region, Tanzania. Compliance was assessed by examining pesticide use practices that are regulated by the Tanzanian Plant Protection Act (PPA) of 1997. A total of 91 tomato farmers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Purposive sampling was used in selecting at least 30 respondent farmers from each of the three villages of Msufini, Mlali and Doma in Mvomero District, Morogoro Region. Simple Random Sampling was used to obtain respondents from the sampling frame. Individual and social factors were examined on how they could affect pesticide use practices regulated by the law. Descriptive statistics, mainly frequency, were used to analyze the data while associations between variables were determined using Chi-Square and logistic regression model. The results showed that respondents were generally aware of the existence of laws on agriculture, environment and consumer health, although none of them could name a specific Act. The results revealed further that 94.5% of the farmers read instructions on the pesticides label. However, only 21% used the correct doses of pesticides, 40.7% stored pesticides in special stores, 68.1% used protective gear, while 94.5% always read instructions on the label before using a pesticide product. Training influenced the application rate of pesticide (p < 0.001) while awareness of agricultural laws significantly influenced farmers’ tendency to read information on the labels (p < 0.001). The results showed further that education significantly influenced the use of protective gears by farmers (p = 0.042). Education also significantly affected the manner in which farmers stored pesticide-applying equipment (p = 0.024). Furthermore, farmers’ awareness of environmental laws significantly (p = 0.03) affected farmers’ disposal of empty pesticide containers. Results of this study suggest the need for express provisions on safe use and handling of pesticides and related offences in the Act, and that compliance should be achieved through education rather than coercion. Results also suggest establishment of pesticide disposal mechanisms and structures to reduce unsafe disposal of pesticide containers. It is recommended that farmers should be educated and trained on proper use of pesticides. Farmers’ awareness on laws affecting food, environment and agriculture should be improved.

compliance; plant protection; pesticides; law; awareness; agriculture; environment; health; Tanzania

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