Assessment of pesticide multiplicity in potato production and storage in Bomet, Kenya

  • J.I. Oyoo Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
  • G.O. Abong Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, University of Nairobi
  • M.W. Okoth Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, University of Nairobi
  • M.W. Nyongesa Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Abstract

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) crisps are among the most appealing potato products to middle and high income households including women, youth and children and are produced from potatoes mainly grown in Bomet County. A cross-sectional survey was done in 305 potato growing households in Bomet County to establish categories of pesticides used in potato production and storage, level of awareness of pesticide residues and perceptions of risks associated with pesticide contamination at ingestion of potato and its products. Questionnaires were administered through simple random sampling of potato farmers, disaggregated according to their gender, level of education and age. The parameters of interest were type of pesticides applied, knowledge of banned or restricted pesticides and knowledge of presence of pesticide residues in potatoes and risks involved. Data was collected using open data kit (ODK) and analysis done using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software version 21. Descriptive statistics were used to generate socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, education levels) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the data about knowledge of pesticides. Results are presented as percentages, means and frequency distribution. Differences between the means were calculated at 95% level of significance using Fischer’s test. The study showed that 72% of the respondents were male and 28% female. Most of the potato farmers aged between 20- 59 years (87.2%). A majority of the sampled farmers (26.9%) had up to tertiary level education while 31% attended primary school only. About 95% of the respondents used fungicides to control late blight while 14% used insecticides for pest control. It is worth noting that only 0.6% of the respondents used dimethoate and Diazinon, restricted/banned chemical compounds in Kenya. A significant number of fungicides (47%) used were classification class II which are moderately hazardous. Most respondents (79%) could not tell which pesticides had high residues. However, majority (84%) perceived that potatoes in the markets or those cooked at home, restaurants or hotels contained pesticide residues which could harm consumers. The study demonstrated the need for more awareness creation on appropriate pesticide use and sensitization on pesticide residues in potato production.

Published
2022-06-02
How to Cite
Oyoo, J., Abong, G., Okoth, M., & Nyongesa, M. (2022). Assessment of pesticide multiplicity in potato production and storage in Bomet, Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 85(1-4), 11. Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/522