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Current Research in Agricultural Sciences

June 2019, Volume 6, 2, pp 169-179

Vegetable Farmers Knowledge and Safety Practices towards Pesticides: Results from Field Observation in Southeastern DR Congo

Arsene Mushagalusa Balasha


Joseph Seveno Houndehin


Maurice Kesonga Nsele


Nathan Kasanda Mukendi


Jules Nkulu Mwine Fyama


Diakalia Son

Arsene Mushagalusa Balasha 1 ,

Joseph Seveno Houndehin 2
Maurice Kesonga Nsele 1 Nathan Kasanda Mukendi 1 Jules Nkulu Mwine Fyama 1 Diakalia Son 6

  1. Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agronomy, University of Lubumbashi, Lubumbashi, DR Congo. 1

  2. Faculty of Agronomy, University of Parakou, Parakou, Benin. 2

  3. Agrosystemes et Ingenierie de l Environnement (Sy.N.A.I.E), Unite Sante des Plantes du Laboratoire Systemes Naturels, Institut du Developpement Rural (IDR), Universite Nazi Boni (UNB), Burkina Faso. 6

Pages: 169-179

DOI: 10.18488/journal.68.2019.62.169.179

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Article History:

Received: 13 September, 2019
Revised: 16 October, 2019
Accepted: 18 November, 2019
Published: 30 December, 2019


Plant protection products can cause serious health issues especially for farmers who are exposed to all steps of their use. We used field observation to assess farmers’ knowledge of pesticides as well as their behavior while preparing mixtures, spraying and rinsing equipment used. Results showed that most of the farmers (97.6%) used pesticides (organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides) and reported having both positive and negative perception of pesticides apprehended respectively in terms of benefits (improve crop quality) and hazards (source of diseases, poison for human). Farmers’ knowledge of meteorological parameters and personal protective equipment for successful and safe use of pesticides was still limited. Farmers observed (98%) did not wear personal protective equipment (gloves, mask, coverall) during all steps of pesticide use (mixing, spraying, rinsing equipment). Hygienic practices were also very poor since 100% of farmers monitored could not change the clothes worn during the crop treatment. Furthermore, 88% of the farmers observed did not wash hands, feet and legs immediately after pesticide application whereas those parts of the body were particularly exposed during the treatment. This study provides reliable evidence related to the hazardous use of pesticides in Lubumbashi. A program of awareness and information will help to relieve farmers from pesticides health risks.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of the very few studies which have investigated the misuse of pesticides in Lubumbashi. Results highlighted poor handling practices of pesticides by farmers and limited knowledge of protective equipment and weather conditions while using plant protection products.


Lubumbashi, Farmers’ knowledge , Pesticides, Protective equipment, Safety, Practices.



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This study was carried out as part of our Master Program in the Integrated Production and Preservation of Natural Resources in Urban and Suburban Environment (ULg-Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech), funded by ARES (Academie de Recherche et d Enseignement Superieur) in 2017.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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