International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 158–168 | Cite as

Farmers’ perception on plant protection in India and Nepal: a case study

  • G. V. Ranga RaoEmail author
  • V. Rameshwar Rao
  • V. P. Prasanth
  • N. P. Khannal
  • N. K. Yadav
  • C. L. L. Gowda
Research Papers


Participatory rural appraisal was undertaken in 70 villages in India and Nepal, covering 1185 farmers to generate baseline information on the current plant protection practices. The study revealed that 93% of the farmers in India and 90% in Nepal had adopted chemical control for the management of various insect pests in different crops; however, less than 20% of the farmers expressed confidence on their efficacy. In India, 52% of farmers get their plant protection advice from pesticide dealers, while in Nepal, the majority of the farmers (69%) make their plant protection decisions through agricultural officers. A majority of the farmers (73% in India and 86% in Nepal) initiate the plant protection based on the first appearance of the pest, irrespective of their population, crop stage and their damage relationships. About 50% of the farmers in India and 20% in Nepal were not using any protective clothing while spraying. Health problems associated with the application of plant protection chemicals were reported by farmers. The cost of plant protection on various crops ranged from 7 to 40% of the total crop production cost. Though integrated pest management (IPM) has been advocated for the past two decades, only 32% in India and 20% in Nepal were aware of IPM practices. IPM implementation in selected villages brought a 20-65% reduction in pesticide use in different crops. The vegetable samples analysed for pesticide residues revealed the presence of residues.

Key words

plant protection PRA pesticides protective clothing residues IPM biopesticides 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alavanja M. C., Hoppin J. A. and Kamel F. (2004) Health effects of chronic pesticide exposure: cancer and neurotoxicity. Annual Review of Public Health 25, 155–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anon (1997) Unsafe application of pesticides and dangerous old stocks. Available from: Scholar
  3. Anon (1999) Pesticide action network Asia and Pacific. ‘Warning: Pesticides are dangerous to your health’.Google Scholar
  4. Anon (2003) Major campaign launched to protect rice farmers, Scholar
  5. Anon (2005) ‘Very high levels of pesticides’ found in blood samples in Punjab, India. The Hindu Daily, June 8.Google Scholar
  6. Anon (2008) Farmers seek refuge from toxic onslaught. Available from: Scholar
  7. Anon (2009) Indian pesticides industry, vital for ensuring food security. Available from: Scholar
  8. Arcury T. A., Quandt S. A. and Meilen B. G. (2003) An exploratory analysis of occupational skin disease among Latino migrant and seasonal farm workers in North Carolina. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health 9, 221–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bai Y., Zhou L. and Wang J. (2006) Organophosphorus pesticide residues in market in Shaanxi area, China. Food Chemistry 98, 240–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beseler C. L., Stallones L. and Hoppin J. A. (2008) Depression and pesticide exposures among private pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study. Environmental Health Perspectives 116, 1713–1719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Firestone J. A., Smith-Weller T., Franklin G., Swanson P., Longsteth W. T. and Checkoway H. (2005) Pesticides and risk of Parkinson’s disease: a population-based case-control study. Archives of Neurology 62, 91–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kamel F. (2003) Neurobehavioral performance and work experience in Florida farm workers. Environmental Health Perspectives 111, 1765–1772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kamel F. and Hoppin J. A. (2004) Association of pesticide exposure with neurologic dysfunction and disease. Environmental Health Perspectives 112, 950–958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kishi M. (2005) The health impacts of pesticides: what do we know, what can be done? In The Pesticide Detox (edited by J. Pretty), pp. 23–38. Earthscan, London/ Sterling, Virginia.Google Scholar
  15. Kishi M., Irschhorn N., Djajadisastra M., Satterlee L. N., Strowman S. and Dilts R. (1995) Relationship of pesticide spraying to signs and symptoms in Indonesian farmers. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 21, 124–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kranthi K. R., Jadhav D. R., Kranthi S., Wanjari R. R., Ali S. S. and Russell D. A. (2002) Insecticide resistance in five major insect pests of cotton in India. Crop Protection 21, 449–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kumar A., Baroth A., Soni I., Bhatnagar P. and John P. J. (2005) Organochlorine pesticide residues in milk and blood of women from Anupgarh, Rajasthan, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 116, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCauley L. A., Anger W. K., Keifer M., Langley R., Robson M. G. and Rohlman D. (2006) Studying health outcomes in farm worker populations exposed to pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives 114, 953–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mancini F. (2006) Impact of integrated pest management farmer field schools on pesticide use and farmers’ ecological knowledge on cotton farming in India. Chapter 3 of Thesis.Google Scholar
  20. Mancini F., van Bruggen A. H. C., Jiggins J. L. S., Ambatipudi A. C. and Murphy H. (2005) Acute pesticide poisoning among female and male cotton growers in India. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 11, 221–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mathews G. (2001) Three R’s imperial agrolinks. Asia-Pacific Crop Protection Association. Crop Production Technology, 4–5.Google Scholar
  22. MeConnen Y. and Agonafir T. (2002) Personal protective equipment use by farm workers in Ethiopia. Pesticide News 55, 15.Google Scholar
  23. Melchett P. (2008) More pesticides in UK juice drinks. Available from: Scholar
  24. Miller G. T. (2004) Sustaining the Earth, 6th edn, vol. 9, pp. 211–216. Thompson Learning, Inc., Pacific Grove, California.Google Scholar
  25. Montgomery M. P., Kamel F., Saldana T. M., Alavanja M. C. and Sandler D. P. (2008) Incident diabetes and pesticide exposure among licensed pesticide applicators: Agricultural Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 167, 1235–1246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. O’Malley M. A. (1997) Skin reactions to pesticides. Occupational Medicine 12, 327–345.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Sethi A., Bons M. S. and Dilawari V. K. (2002) Response of whitefly Bemisia tabaci to selection by different insecticides and genetic analysis of attained resistance. Resistant Pest Management Newsletter 12, 30–35.Google Scholar
  28. Van Mele P., Cuc N. T. T. and Van Huis A. (2001) Farmers’ knowledge, perceptions, and practices in mango pest management in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Inter-national Journal of Pest Management 47, 7–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vasantharaj D. B. (ed) (1995) Kothari’s Desk Book Series: The Pesticides Industry. HC Kothari Group, Publication Division, Madras. 464 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Wilson C. and Tisdell C. (2001) Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environment, health and sustainability costs. Ecological Economics 39, 449–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. V. Ranga Rao
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. Rameshwar Rao
    • 1
  • V. P. Prasanth
    • 1
  • N. P. Khannal
    • 2
  • N. K. Yadav
    • 3
  • C. L. L. Gowda
    • 1
  1. 1.International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)Andhra PradeshIndia
  2. 2.Forum for Rural Welfare and Agricultural Reforms for Development (FORWARD)ChitwanNepal
  3. 3.National Grain Legumes Research Program (NGLRP)ChitwanNepal

Personalised recommendations