Knowledge, attitudes and practices on pesticide use among crop farmers in Gasovu parish, Nyarusiza sub-county, Kisoro district
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ABSTRACT Background: Pesticides are increasingly being used in farming to solve the problem of pests so as to increase yields. However, many people die annually from the consequences of pesticide exposure. Several strategies have been implemented to reduce pesticide exposure including the use of biological pest control, opting for alternative cropping systems less dependent on pesticides, use appropriate type of personal protective equipment, globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of hazardous pesticides and integrated pest management among others. However, improper pesticide use remains a problem in developing countries including Uganda. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices on pesticide use among crop farmers in Gasovu parish, Nyarusiza sub-county, Kisoro district. Methods: Across sectional study among 323 farmers was carried out using a semi-structured questionnaire and an observational checklist. Nine villages and 36 farmers from each were selected to participate in this study except for one in which 35 were recruited in order to meet the sample size. Data was entered in Epi Data version 3.1 and then exported to STATA version 13 for analysis. These statistical soft wares were used to run descriptive analysis to get frequencies, percentages, modes and means. Results: Male farmers and those who never attended school constituted the majority of 168 (56.95%) and 202 (68.47%) respectively. Majority 284 (96.27%) of farmers knew that poor handling of pesticides was harmful to their health and the environment. As a bigger proportion 279 (94.58%) agreed that pesticides can enter their bodies, only 206 (69.83%) agreed that they were harmful. Half 148 (50.17%) of the farmers stored pesticides within the main house while close to three quarters 218 (73.90%) of farmers reported PPE use during application of pesticides in their farms including face masks, gum boots, gloves, and others. Conclusion: Farmers were knowledgeable about pesticide use with good and positive attitudes though this was not reflected in the practices since inappropriate practices regarding PPE use, storage of pesticides, application and other factors were recorded.