Knowledge, attitudes and practices on pesticide use among farmers in Kikandwa sub-county, Mityana district
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Background: Globally, pesticides are increasingly being used in farming so as to increase yields.However, a greater number of people die annually from the consequences of pesticide exposure such as cancer, neurological and reproductive effects. In Uganda, improper pesticide use remains a problem despite some strategies that have been implemented to avoid improper pesticide usage. There is gap in knowledge, attitudes and practices of farmers regarding pesticide use in many parts of the Uganda including Kikandwa sub-county, in Mityana district exists. . Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices towards pesticide use among farmers in Kikandwa sub-county, Mityana district. Methods: This was a quantitative cross-sectional study that used a semi structured questionnaire as a data collection tool. A proportionate simple random sampling technique was used to collect data from 385 farmers under face-to-face interviews using Epi collect software on smartphones. Data was cleaned in Microsoft Excel version 16 and analyzed using Stata version 13. Study results were displayed in form of tables, texts and figures. Results: The mean age of the farmers was 38 years (standard deviation of 5.85 years). Most of the farmers, 298/385 (77.40%) were male, and married 306/385 (79.48%). Regarding the knowledge, majority 345/385 (89.61%) of the farmers were aware that poor handling of pesticides is harmful to their health and to the environment. However, 337/385 (87.53%) had never had training on pesticide use. Herbicides, 356/372 (95.70%), were the majorly used type of pesticides by farmers in Kikandwa Sub-county. More than three quarters 295/385 (76.63%) agreed that pesticides are harmful and 301/385 (78.18%) agreed that there are health risks associated with pesticides. Over 96.62% of the farmers in Kikandwa Sub County were using pesticides in their farms. Burning 335/372 (90.05%) followed by burying in a dug pit 114/372 (30.65%) were the major disposal methods for used pesticide containers Conclusion: Farmers’ knowledge on pesticide used was fairly good though not satisfactory as they were aware of the harmful effects of pesticides to their health and environment caused due to poor handling. They were positive on the different matters and health risks associated with pesticides. Practices were generally poor as burning was the major disposal method practiced. There is therefore need for multidisciplinary collaboration to engage farmers in trainings organized so as to acquaint them with the proper guidelines on use of the pesticides.