Insecticide use practices in cocoa production in Ashanti, eastern Volta and western regions of Ghana

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:48 AM
A103-104 (Oregon Convention Center)
Akua Antwi-Agyakwa , Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Richard Adu-acheampong , Entomology Division, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Akim-Tafo, Ghana
Kodwo D. Ninsin , CSIR- Animal Research Institute, Accra, Ghana
Enoch A. Osekre , Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Chemical control of insect pests of cocoa started since 1950. Several classes of insecticides have been used by farmers. Presently Imidacloprid (Confidor), Bifenthrin (Akatemaster) and Thiamethoxam (Actara) are approved by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) for insect pests control. A survey was conducted among 147 cocoa farmers in the Ashanti, Eastern, Volta and Western Regions of Ghana using questionnaires and visual observation of farmers’ fields. Information was gathered on characteristics of respondents, insecticide use practices and how farmers handle insecticides. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software and the outcome used to describe the status of use and handling of insecticides in cocoa production in Ghana. Pearson Correlation (r) analysis was also done to determine the relationship between some variables. The survey showed that males dominated cocoa farming (72.77%) and of an average age of 60 years with at least (44%) basic education. Some farmers (37.55%) were members of a farmer based organization. These farmers used mostly Imidacloprid and Bifenthrin among other insecticides sold on the open market and applied them more than the frequency recommended by COCOBOD. Most of the insecticides used were classified as class II under WHO Hazard category. Some appropriate practices in the handling and use of pesticides including use of Personal Protective Equipment, re-entry period and disposal of empty containers were not practiced. It is encouraged that training and monitoring programmes should be made for farmers on the need to handle pesticides properly for their safety, consumer benefit and the environment.