Introduction Côte d’Ivoire is the top exporter as well as producer of cashew nuts in the world. Chemical pesticides are used as one of preference crop protection measures. However, the conditions use of any pesticide must meet good agricultural practices in order to mitigate occupational risks for pesticides users, to ensure cashew nuts safety and other hand the preservation of the ecosystem. Our study explored essentially occupational risks linked to chemical pesticides in cashew farming and the rate of non-homologated products use in Côte d’Ivoire.
Methods Data collection was through well-structured questionnaire administered on respondents selected through random sampling technique. The geographical site of our study was two main cashew production areas namely the Gbeke, Centre (6 departments) and the Poro, North (4 departments) of Côte d’Ivoire. In total, 43 farmers have participated in the study covering the whole of the 10 departments of the two regions. After counting of survey sheets, data have been codified, entered and analysed using the software Sphinx 220.127.116.11.
Results Results showed that the majority of farmers (81.4%) used chemical pesticides in the production of cashew, but only 11% of them have been trained to safe use of pesticides. In addition, 16 of the 35 farmers (45.7%) had individual protection equipment appropriate. Thus, 10 cases of acute intoxication were reported during the application of pesticides. Glyphosate isopropylamine salt was responsible for 5 cases of poisoning, while 2.4 D amine salt caused 3 cases. However, 35% of these pesticides were not homologated for their use in cashew farming in Côte d’Ivoire.
Conclusion Pesticide use was a real handicap for the sustainability of the cashew farming in Côte d’Ivoire. High use of non-homologated pesticides and absence of farmers training in safe use of pesticides could be cause occupational hazards, possibly environmental pollution and affected cashew nut safety.
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