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A survey on the safe and effective use of pesticides in cut flower production: the case of highlands of northern Thailand.

Publication Date
  • Pesticides
  • Cut Flower
  • Thailand
  • Life Sciences :: Agriculture & Agronomy [F01]
  • Sciences Du Vivant :: Agriculture & Agronomie [F01]
  • Life Sciences :: Entomology & Pest Control [F07]
  • Sciences Du Vivant :: Entomologie & Lutte Antiravageur [F07]
  • Chemistry
  • Design


To compete with the income gained from opium cultivation, cut flower growing has been introduced in the highlands of northem Thailand. High-value produce whose the physical appearance is essential to secure high market priees, cut flowers require intensive pesticide use. Farmer's practices in cut flower production raise, however, various problems related to pesticide overuse and misuse, leading to potential health hazards. To gain c1ear understanding of pesticide use practices and identify the main factors contributing to pesticide exposure, this survey was conducted on 50 cut flower growers. A semi-structured personnal questionnaire was designed to collect information on pesticide characteristics, their conditions' of storage, dosage and application as well as the safety precautions taken by farmers during mixing and spraying pesticides. Relating the results of this survey, 28% of farmers store pesticides at home, in the living room ; 32% apply dosages higher than recommended on the label while 36% overdose or underdose the spray solution according to pest infestation level. Mostly all farmers apply pesticide cocktails without knowledge about chemical compatibility. During mixing, 94% of farmers wear boots, 80% wear gloves, 42% wear special work clothing and only 18% of farmers wear face mask and 6% face shield. Farmer's wives and contract workers involved in pesticide application face higher pesticide exposure as they do not take safety precautions when spraying. After spraying, 98% of farmers wash themselves, 84% wash their work clothing and only 26% dispose of empty containers. This survey achieved in assessing the main risk factors of pesticide contamination and implementing appropriate safe use trainings in the context of farmer's perceptions and knowledge.

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