Promoting community mobilization on sustainable pesticide application among horticultural small holder farmers in Tanzania

Promoting sustainability in agricultural production requires critical consideration of agro-cultural technologies and identification of best practices. Pesticides are an agricultural technology that enables farmers to control pests and weeds and constitutes an important input when producing a crop. Pesticide use is a common practice to control pests and diseases in vegetable cultivation, but often at the expense of the environment and human health. Proper crop protection is important to produce high quality crops with minimal wastage. This increase in productivity leads to less land, water and labor required for horticultural crops.

Findings show that horticultural farmers in Tanzania apply pesticides in violation of their recommendations: they use unsafe storage facilities, ignore risks and safety instructions, do not use protective devices when applying pesticides, and dispose of containers unsafely. Smallholder horticulture  farmers  in  Tanzania  have  been reported to lack adequate knowledge in proper, use  and  management  of  pesticides. Improper  use  of pesticide  has  been  found  to  cause  various forms  of  cancer,  birth  defects,  sterility, damage  of  liver,  kidney,  neural  organs  and deaths.

Bringing in new actors such as environmental authorities, suppliers, NGOs and private actors, as well as social and technological innovations, may contribute to changes in the actual performance of the buying and use practices pesticides. In implementing my idea I planning to make use of two strategic approaches; community awareness through training and use of the Ntakandi Kilimo protector App targeting illiterate and literate farmers.

Through community awareness training, I will make use of the existing farmer structures including Local Government Authorities ( LGA) (that is District, Ward and village Extension Officers,) the village saving and loans Associations (VSLA), agricultural marketing cooperative societies (AMCOS) and agro dealers. The approach will put emphasis on intensive training to the Government of all plant protection issues, methods and sustainable chemical application. They will then be empowered to train farmers groups through Trainer of trainees (TOT) and ultimately will reach other farmers in the community. This approach shall involve the use of farmer’s field days as a mechanism to enable reaching as many farmers as possible. Local processing and manufacturing industries (team value chain leaders) are an important component of awareness training as they will ensure the adherence to the standards of pesticide application since they are the main markets of the horticultural produces hence promoting sustainability of the standards (value chain leader).

Illustration of community mobilization approaches to pesticide application

There is a scarcity of extension officers thus limiting access to extension services. I have come with the Ntakandi Kilimo protector app that will enable farmers to have quick  access to different issues affecting agriculture including including good practices of crop protection e.g. methods of crop protection, first aid measures to a person affected by chemicals during chemical application, protection gear to be used during chemical application, classes of chemicals according to WHO and means of protection, markets for produce and post-harvest management.

 The app will also provide information on sustainable crop production including information such as the soil PH scale that favors specific crop, temperature and range of rainfall, land preparation, nursery/seed preparation and management, plant spacing and transplanting, farm management including rate of chemical application (Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) and weeding interval.

I am dedicated to make the world enjoy agriculture through our Moto: AGRICULTURE IS A JOY

Edgar Thomas Sabutoke, Tanzania

193 comments

  1. Congratulations Mr. Edgar…!
    What a wonderful move! You are really touching the nerve as per contemporary global, and particularly African, demands!

    Keep moving!

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  2. First of all, I would like to congratulate you (Mr. EDGAR SABUTOKE) for the efforts you make everyday to ensure you contribute to the transformation and agrarian revolution in Tanzania.
    You have been a dedicated person in providing various education in agricultural production to the people of all ages. Indeed, your contribution to our community should be supported by individuals, communities and even institutions aimed at ensuring that poverty is totally exterminated in our communities through agriculture sector.
    I believe, the program you want to introduce will speed up changes in agriculture sector not only in Tanzania but also outside our country.
    Congratulation guy. For sure you need to be uplifted, you need any kind of support for the betterment of agrarian revolution.
    Cheer!!

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