PERCEPTION OF RICE FARMERS’ ON THE EFFECTS OF AGROCHEMICALS ON HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT IN BAUCHI STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Agrochemical, Environment, Farmers, Health and Rice
The study examined the factors influencing agrochemical usage among rice farmers in Bauchi State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used in selecting 271 rice farmers. Data were collected using questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings reveal that majority (87.1%) of the respondents perceived that agrochemical have effects on human health. The results also show that 88.95% farmers were aware that agrochemicals are hazardous in nature. The results further indicated that, majority (71.6%) rate agrochemicals as very harmful while 23.6% and 4.8% of the total respondents rates it as moderately harmful and not harmful respectively. The major adverse effects to health include skin irritation (1st), eye irritation (2nd) and vomiting (3rd) among others. The results of the perception of respondents on the effects of agrochemical on the environment include harmful to non-target organism (44.3%), pollute river and stream (41.0%) and contamination of food (39.5%). The major constraints to the use of agrochemicals include; High cost (1st), lack of support from government (2nd) and unpleasant odour (3rd) to mention few. Based on the finding of the study, it was concluded that, farmers agreed that agrochemicals have effects on human health and the environment. Based on the constraints highlighted the study recommended that, there should be alternatives to some agrochemicals which is the biological methods, government should subsidize agricultural input and farmers should wear protective clothing to reduce the effects of unpleasant odour of the agrochemicals.
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