Journal of Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis
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Journal of Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis. 2019, 2(1), 56-64
DOI: 10.12691/jaaepa-2-1-8
Open AccessArticle

Pesticide Use Practices by Chinese Cabbage Growers in Suburban Environment of Lubumbashi (DR Congo): Main Pests, Costs and Risks

Arsene Mushagalusa Balasha1, and Maurice Kesonga Nsele1

1Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agronomy, University of Lubumbashi, PO Box 1825, Lubumbashi, DR Congo

Pub. Date: December 02, 2019

Cite this paper:
Arsene Mushagalusa Balasha and Maurice Kesonga Nsele. Pesticide Use Practices by Chinese Cabbage Growers in Suburban Environment of Lubumbashi (DR Congo): Main Pests, Costs and Risks. Journal of Applied Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis. 2019; 2(1):56-64. doi: 10.12691/jaaepa-2-1-8

Abstract

Market gardeners in Lubumbashi grow Chinese cabbage in monocropping system during the dry season for cash and livelihood. Crop attracts pests but little is known about farmers’ pest management practices. This study was initiated to obtain comprehensive information on pesticide use practices and the risks faced by vegetable farmers while handling pesticides to control pests. Survey, simulated treatment with fluorescent tracer and field observations were used to collect data on farmers’ knowledge of cabbage pests; pesticide use, costs and risks for both farmers and the environment. A high proportion of cabbage growers (66%) considered Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) as the most destructive pest of cabbage crop. Most of the farmers (91%) spent between 0.5 and 4 US dollars to purchase insecticides, sprayed up to 4 times (10%) during the growing cycle of Chinese cabbage (45 days). The dose applied was twice lower than that recommended by the manufacturers of the Lambda-cyhalothrin and Diclorvos, two of the main active ingredients commonly used in the study area. Many farmers (72%) sprayed pesticides with inappropriate equipment (buckets and brooms) during the day while the targeted pests hide underground and damaged the crop at night when the pesticide has already volatilized. Destruction by insecticides of beneficial entomofauna was reported (bees 22%), earthworms (36%) and cabbage pest natural enemies (18%). Farmers got contaminated by pesticides and reported some discomforts such as nostril irritation accompanied with sneeze (94%), eyes irritation (76%) and headache (30%). These results may help vegetables farmers understand the urgent need to use existing alternative methods to control pests and may also contribute to the reformation of pesticide policies for safe and effective use of plant protection products in DR Congo. To relieve farmers from pesticide health risks, a program of awareness and information is also needed.

Keywords:
Lubumbashi Chinese cabbage pesticide fluorescent tracer risk assessment

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