Determinants of pesticides use among tomato farmers in the Bono and Ahafo regions of Ghana

Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 6;14(1):5484. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-55169-4.


Tomato production plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of farmers and agricultural households in the forest savanna transitional belt of Ghana. However, the success of tomato cultivation is hindered by the presence of insect pests and diseases, necessitating the use of agricultural inputs. This study aimed to identify the pesticides used in tomato farming, assess their World Health Organization (WHO) active ingredient hazard class, determine the precautionary behaviour associated with pesticide use by tomato farmers, and elucidate the socio-economic factors influencing pesticide usage in the Bono and Ahafo regions of Ghana. A multistage sampling procedure was employed to select 1009 respondents, who were administered a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used to analyse the collected data. The results revealed that tomato farmers utilized 15 types of insecticides (e.g., lambda and chlorpyrifos ethyl based), 8 types of fungicides (e.g., mancozeb and sulphur + copper based), and 6 types of weedicides (mostly glyphosate based) on their crops. Notably, four insecticides and two fungicides types were found to be unregistered products. Lambda-cyhalothrin-based insecticides and mancozeb-based fungicides were predominantly used by the farmers. The assessed pesticides exhibited varying levels of hazard, ranging from slight to moderate. The study found that farmer training was a significant driver influencing insecticide use, while the educational level of farmers and average yield played important roles in determining fungicide use. Socio-economic factors such as being the head of the household, employing farm workers, the cultivated tomato variety, and farmer training influenced weedicide use. The type of tomato variety cultivated emerged as the primary socio-economic driver of pesticide use. The study recommended the establishment and implementation of a systematic monitoring regime for pesticide product marketing and use, with the aim of reducing the utilization of unregistered products by farmers. Implementing these measures supports sustainable tomato farming in the Bono and Ahafo regions of Ghana.

PMID:38443385 | PMC:PMC10914832 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-55169-4