DETERMINANTS OF PESTICIDE USE AND UPTAKE OF ALTERNATIVE PEST CONTROL METHODS AMONG SMALL SCALE TOMATO FARMERS IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT 
Increasing demand for food and the diminishing agricultural land has resulted in farmers putting great efforts to increase crop yields by using more fertilizer and pesticides. Pesticide use in agricultural production has, however, produced undesirable effects on human health and the environment. Thus, the study aimed at contributing to sustainable agricultural intensification through safe pesticide use and uptake of alternative pest control methods among small-scale tomato farmers in Nakuru County, Kenya. Specific objectives of the research study were; to evaluate precautionary behaviours in pesticide use among small-scale tomato farmers and to determine socioeconomic and institutional factors that influence the level of pesticide usage among small-scale tomato farmers. The study also sought to establish the role of risk perception, institutional and socio-economic characteristics on the intensity of uptake of alternative pest control methods among small-scale tomato farmers. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select a sample of 384 respondents. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data which was administered by trained enumerators. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, trivariate ordered probit and multivariate Tobit models. Principal component analysis was used to categorize alternative pest control methods into four groups. Results indicated that safety behaviours in pesticide use were inadequate, particularly in the use mask (0.52%), gloves (18.49%) and hats (26.30%). None of the farmers was using goggles. High purchase cost (36.95%), discomfort (20.05%) and not necessary for each case (20.57%) were the leading factors attributed to lack of/limited use of protective gears. Majority of the small-scale farmers were overusing insecticides (97.66%) and fungicides (91.93%). A significant proportion of the tomato farmers were underusing herbicide (83.33%). Findings from the Trivariate ordered probit model estimation indicated that gender, farming experience, distance to the market and number of contacts with the extension service provider positively influenced the level of pesticide usage. Moreover, participation in training programs, group membership, and risk perception positively influenced the intensity of uptake of alternative methods; while farm size and participation in off-farm activities had a negative effect on the intensity of uptake of alternative methods. The study concluded that a significant proportion of small-scale farmers overuse pesticide while managing insect pests and diseases. Consequently, the study recommended the requisite for provision of safety training programs and adequate extension services to facilitate proper pesticide use and uptake of alternative methods for improved livelihoods and environmental conservation. To public policy, formulating and implementing targeted interventions aimed at promoting the use of alternative pest control methods that minimize negative health and environmental effects from overuse of pesticides.

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
Background information 
Rising urban population in Kenya has increased demand for food specifically fresh agricultural produce. Consequently, small-scale farmers in peri-urban and rural areas are venturing into high-value horticultural production which can fetch higher prices in the urban market (Lagerkvist et al., 2012). Tomato is one of the high-value horticultural crop widely grown by small-scale farmers (Musah et al., 2016). It is a vital crop among small-scale farmers which generates income and creates employment particularly in rural areas (Ssejjemba, 2008; Sigei et al., 2014). Farmers grow tomato in an open field or in a greenhouse. Open –field tomato production under prevailing unfavourable climatic conditions has been challenging to small- scale farmers. Subsequently, greenhouse production is gaining popularity due to its potential to produce high yields and provide favourable conditions (Wachira, 2012; MoALF, 2015). The sub-sector contributes fourteen per cent to aggregate vegetable output and 6.72 per cent to total horticultural output in Kenya (Najjuma et al., 2016). In 2014, Nakuru County accounted for 17510.9 Tons of the total national tomato output with an increase in area under production from 495.2 Ha to 633 Ha. The County was ranked the sixth after Bungoma, Kirinyaga, Kajiado, Makueni and Kiambu County regarding tomato production (MoALF, 2015). In 2015, the total national tomato output increased from 383,868 MT to 400,204 MT. 

With diminishing agricultural land due to population increase and urbanization, tomato remains an essential crop for small-scale farmers since it can be grown on a small piece of land. Tomato is a common dietary and nutritional component of many households in Kenya (Sigei et al., 2014). It is rich in Minerals such as phosphorus and calcium as well as vitamin A and C (Naika et al., 2005). Small-scale tomato farmers sell their fresh produce to local retailers, wholesale traders, processing companies, greengrocers, hotels and supermarkets to mention but a few. Furthermore, changes in consumer taste and preferences specifically on safe and healthy food has contributed to the growth and expansion of supermarket chains. Naivas, Tuskys, Nakumatt, Uchumi and Ukwala (currently Choppies) supermarkets have expanded their operations by engaging in contract farming with vegetable farmers. This has offered stable prices and a steady market for their farm produce (Ismail, 2013). Consumers can access high-quality fresh produce and other commodities under one roof. 

Despite its contribution to economic development through poverty alleviation and income generation, tomato farmers face numerous challenges. For instance, high incidence of pests, harsh climatic conditions and fluctuation in agricultural commodity prices. In addition, poor infrastructure, the high cost of production and market constraints are some of the challenges facing small-scale tomato farmers (Waiganjo et al., 2013; Musebe et al., 2014; Sigei et al., 2014; Mueke, 2015). The common diseases of tomatoes include mildew, bacterial wilt, early and late blight, leaf spots, leaf curl, tomato mosaic virus and fusarium wilt. The major insect pests include cutworm, leaf miners, Tuta absoluta, root-knot nematodes, bollworms, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies and aphids (Desneux et al., 2010; Musebe et al., 2014; Sigei et al., 2014; Mueke, 2015). 

To meet the high local demand, small-scale farmers are intensifying their agricultural production by utilizing more pesticides (Lagerkvist et al., 2012) to mitigate major production constraints such as high insect pest and disease incidence. Consumers, on the other hand, are demanding fresh agricultural products that are of high quality and blemish free (Lagerkvist et al., 2013). Production of agricultural commodities that meet specific consumer requirements under prevailing climatic condition has been challenging. As a result, farmers are heavily relying on pesticides to combat pest problem, and reduce crop losses in quality and quantity (Macharia, et al., 2013; Macharia, 2015; Mwangi et al., 2015). The resultant misuse and excessive use of pesticides by small-scale tomato farmers have become detrimental to human health as well as the environment. Soil and air pollution, human health ailments and pest resistance to mention but a few are some of the adverse effects of indiscriminate use of pesticide (Macharia et al., 2009; Srinivasan, 2012; Macharia et al., 2013). 

Statement of the problem 
Tomato is a chief source of income and employment among small-scale farmers. The crop is however characterized by high pesticide use due to its vulnerability to insect pest and disease attack. This is confounded by consumer`s preference for blemish-free and high-quality tomatoes. To respond to the expanding market demand and consumer preferences, small-scale tomato farmers heavily rely on pesticides for crop protection so as to improve its yields and quality. Improper use of pesticides while controlling agricultural pests has undesirable effects on human health, environment, and even death due to direct exposure. In addition, inappropriate pesticide use may lead to an increase in the cost of production. In spite of efforts by government extension service providers to educate small-scale tomato farmers on pesticide use and alternative pest management techniques, there is little knowledge about determinants of the level of pesticide usage among small-scale tomato farmers. The role of risk perception, socio-economic and institutional factors in influencing the intensity of uptake of alternative pest control methods is still not clear in the empirical literature. Hence, it is on the foregoing that this study was geared towards filling these knowledge gaps among small-scale tomato farmers in Nakuru County. 

Objectives 
General objective 
To contribute towards sustainable agricultural intensification through safe pesticide use and uptake of alternative pest control methods among small-scale tomato farmers in Nakuru County, Kenya. 

Specific objectives 
1) To evaluate precautionary behaviours in pesticide use among small-scale tomato farmers. 
2) To determine socioeconomic and institutional factors that influence the level of pesticide usage among small-scale tomato farmers. 
3) To establish the role of risk perception, socio-economic and institutional characteristics on the intensity of uptake of alternative pest control methods among small-scale tomato farmers. 

Research questions 
1) What are the precautionary behaviours in pesticide use among small-scale tomato farmers? 
2) Which socioeconomic and institutional factors influence the level of pesticide usage among small-scale tomato farmers? 
3) What is the role of risk perception, socio-economic and institutional characteristics on the intensity of uptake of alternative pest control methods among small-scale tomato farmers? 

Justification of the study 
Pesticide overuse during crop protection against pests has become a common feature in contemporary agriculture. This has created increasing concerns about pesticide-related adverse effects on human health and the environment (Hossard et al., 2017; Jallow et al., 2017). Some of the short-term and chronic illness due to pesticide exposure include skin irritation, excessive salivation, shortness of breath, sneezing, coughing, headache, vomiting, stomach pains, cancer and dermatitis to mention but a few (Karunamoorthi et al., 2012; Macharia et al., 2013; Macharia, 2015). As a result, understanding the farmer’s extent of pesticide use is paramount in altering their behaviour towards decreasing pesticide use. 

Tomato is an important commercial vegetable crop in Nakuru County which has potential to generate household income and creation of employment (Lagat et al., 2007; GoK, 2013; Munyua and Wagara, 2015). Nakuru County is one of the leading tomato producing areas in Kenya (Sigei et al., 2014; Mueke, 2015). Nakuru County has been reported as one of the regions with rising cases of pesticide misuse during crop protection leading to high levels of pesticide residues in agricultural produce. This threatens consumer food safety, human health as well as the environment (Lagat et al., 2007; Okworo, 2017). Proper utilization of pesticides in the area will lead to environmental conservation, improved food safety leading to improved human health and reduced cost of production. Consequently, tomato production will contribute towards poverty alleviation in the region where the human poverty index is 24.6% (GoK, 2013). This is a step towards achieving the first sustainable development goal of poverty eradication (Pisano et al., 2015) in the nation. Research findings will contribute towards the smooth implementation of Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances Act (2013), National Environment Policy 2013 as well as Crop Act 2013 which are aimed at promoting and enhancing food safety, environmental safety and increasing agricultural productivity through rational pesticide use. 

Also, the literature on the level of pesticide usage, non-chemical pest control methods and pesticide risk perception among small scale farmers growing tomatoes in open field in this region is limited. Risk perception is significant in the choice of alternative pest control methods because of its influence on the farmer’s decision-making process and behaviour. Consequently, information from the research study findings will enhance safe pesticide use. This could lead to reduced crop loss due to insect pest and diseases leading to increased yields, increased farm incomes, improved food nutrition and better living standard. Moreover, findings from this study will enable policymakers to formulate intervention strategies aimed at promoting an alternative to pesticide use leading to improved human health and conservation of the environment. 

Scope and limitation of the study The study was confined to Nakuru County. The study was limited to small-scale tomato farmers who grew tomatoes in open field. The selected main issues in this study included precautionary pesticide use behaviours, determinants of the level of pesticide usage as well as the role of risk perception, socio-economic and institutional characteristics on the intensity of uptake of non- chemical control methods among small-scale tomato farmers. The findings in this study though useful were limited in that farmers interviewed hardly kept records on pesticide use. Consequently, most of the answers to questions were based on the farmer’s memory. However, thorough probing was undertaken to ensure respondents gave accurate data.

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Item Type: Kenyan Project Material  |  Attribute: 77 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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