Utilization of pesticides in smallholder horticulture production pinpoint the need for cropping system changes in Burundi
In Burundi, smallholder farmers produce vegetables and fruits for the growing urban markets and exportation. Thus, the use of pesticides has increased with adverse consequences to marketing requirements and environment. Moreover, improving farmers' livelihoods need to consider the pesticide risk on consumers. In September 2012, a survey on pesticides uses was conducted on 282 farms in six provinces of Burundi (Bubanza, Urban and rural Bujumbura, Bururi, Cibitoke, and Muramvya). A structured questionnaire was used to assess pesticide sources and packaging, frequency of pesticide applications and on which crops, safety measures undertaken while spraying pesticides, and farmers' knowledge regarding integrated pest management. The results revealed that 96% of interviewed farmers obtain small quantities of pesticides from local markets packaged either in paper or bottles without labels. The pesticides were mainly applied within an interval of two weeks (42%) and weekly (37%), respectively. Most pesticides (67%) were applied on tomato compared to other horticultural crops, whereas only 26% of interviewed farmers treated their fruit trees. Among surveyed farmers, 47% had their own equipment, whereas others (53%) borrowed from neighbours. On the other hand, 59% of interviewed farmers kept pesticides in their habitations, and 88% do not protect themselves during pesticide applications. In terms of farmers' knowledge, 78% confirmed the absence of training on control practices for pests and diseases. These results pinpoint the need for cropping system changes in Burundi, through raising the awareness of farmers on integrated management of pests and diseases which should be part of sustainable horticulture production.
Niyongere, C., Mbonihankuye, C., Mutshail, G. and Yamuremye, A. 2015. Utilization of pesticides in smallholder horticulture production pinpoint the need for cropping system changes in Burundi. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1105:213-220
farmers' knowledge, integrated pest management, marketing, nutrition