Nigerian Farmers’ Perception of Pests and Pesticides
The ability of peasant farmers in the third world to monitor environmental occurrences around them has often been ignored. This study looks at Nigerian farmers’ perception of pests and pesticides and determines the relevance of such knowledge as an input to efforts to devise effective integrated pest management strategies.
Farmers in Kabba area of Kwara State, Nigeria were extensively interviewed and the following findings were highlighted: they had a deep knowledge of all insect, animal and fungi pests; could identify each pest, know their breeding cycles and their general behaviour characteristics; were able to make a relatively accurate assessment of damage caused by pests; and developed an indigenous integrated pest management strategy.
Due to massive pest damage in the last few years, and strenuous advertisement by the Ministry of Agriculture, many farmers are now turning to chemical pesticides for solution to the pest problem. Prognosis of future trends in pesticide usage among farmers reveal the likely danger of farmers becoming pesticide-dependent with the consequent possibilities of human poisoning and eventually aggravating the pest problem.
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