Horticultural Farmers' Perceptions on Safety and Compliance to Precautions in the use of Agro-chemicals.
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This study set out to assess farmers’ knowledge and perceptions of safety precautions for handling, mixing, application and disposal of pesticides as well as investigate the xi farmers’ level of compliance with these safety precautions for the use and disposal of pesticides. The study was undertaken as a survey using a semi structured questionnaire. The findings of this study indicated that for this particular group of farmers, their level of awareness of safety precautions for handling, mixing and applying was very high however the level of awareness of safety precautions for disposal of pesticides was comparatively lower. In addition, the findings showed that these farmers had a positive attitude towards safety precautions for handling and mixing of pesticides but when it came to, application and disposal, the farmers disagreed with the safety precautions or didn’t have any opinions about them. Furthermore, the findings of this study indicated that the farmers’ level of compliance with safety precautions for the use and disposal of pesticides was low whereby majority of the farmers either never complied with certain precautions for example for the case of triple rinsing or complied some of the time.The findings showed that while farmers were largely aware and had positive attitudes towards the safety precautions, the awareness was centered around human health or personal safety more than it was for environmental safety and protection. Therefore, in light of these findings, measures to train farmers in pesticide safety with emphasis on environmental protection should be developed and under taken at the regulatory and institutional levels as well as the district and sub county agricultural offices.