African Journal of Agriculture

African Journal of Agriculture ISSN 2375-1134 Vol. 3 (6), pp. 193-200, June, 2016. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Utilization pattern and risk assessment of herbicides usage by farmers, marketers and agricultural extension workers (AEWs) in Plateau State, Nigeria

Umukoro Abraham1*, Onoriose H. Friday2 and Zubaru D. Ahmed3

1Department of Science Laboratory Technology, University of Jos, Nigeria.

2Chemistry Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State, Nigeria.

3Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP), Jos-Plateau State, Nigeria.

E-mail: abraham.nl@yahoo.com.

Accepted 16 April, 2016

Abstract

This research involved carrying out a field survey using a semi structured questionnaire which assessed the practice and risk involved in the usage of herbicides by farmers, marketers and agricultural extension workers using field surveys for two seasons starting in June 2010. The parameters of interest in the survey are: assessments of the level of understanding of these groups of people on the toxicity of the herbicides, precautions taken and basic health symptoms experienced during or after handling the herbicides. The survey was done using the local languages to ensure that all target groups understand and make realistic contributions. The outcome of the survey indicates that 5 herbicides which include: atrazine, paraquat, glyphosate, 2,4-D-Amine and Pendimenthalin, are the most frequently used within the study area. Lack of awareness of the risk involved on exposure to these chemicals substances exposed a good percentage of the users to the chemicals, either when spraying or packaging the products; this informs why the low percentages (15%) of understanding of the basic precautions needed to handle the herbicides was observed among peasant farmers. The data collected were described using descriptive statistics. From the field survey, it was evident that more awareness and training need to be carried out on the usage of herbicides and other pesticides, most especially with the peasant farmers on the basic ethical practice and precautions needed in handling these classes of chemical farm inputs.

Key words: Herbicides, risk assessment, utilization, farmers, marketers, agricultural extension workers (AEWs).