County promotes proper use of pesticides to enhance increased farm productivity and income for smallholders farmers
Written by Brenda Chelang’at
The County Government of Nakuru, in collaboration with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and Centre for Behaviour Change and Communication (CBCC), has formulated a campaign initiative to help reduce the negative impact of pesticides in the county.
Agriculture CEC Leonard Bor today officiated a validation workshop on social and behaviour change on pesticides risk reduction strategy document where he emphasized the importance of food safety in efforts of attaining food security in the county.
“Food security at the forefront of the administration’s agenda led by H.E Governor Susan Kihika and we encourage all stakeholders to participate actively in the campaign to ensure that farmers get to use proper pesticides to increase farm productivity and income, especially for smallholder farmers,” said the CECM
Some of these initiatives the county has undertaken to improve plant health include the establishment of plant clinics, training of spray service providers, and training of integrated pest management champions.
A recent field visit it was revealed that many small-scale farmers in Nakuru lack knowledge on best pest management practices when combating emerging plant health threats.
This has led to the use of harmful pesticides in efforts to avoid crop loss, with limited awareness of the implications of these chemicals on human, livestock health and the environment.
The social and behaviour change campaign aims to address these issues and promote safer, sustainable approaches to crop production.
Additionally, the campaign focuses on farmers’ safe use of pesticides to minimize health risks, access to safer and affordable alternatives, access to reliable technical sources, and the production of safe, pesticide-free produce for the market.
Farmers will benefit from online courses on bioprotection products and reducing pesticide risks provided by CABI academy.
Additionally, technology has developed an application called the Crop Sprayer App that helps calculate the amount of pesticide needed on crops. The app is available for download on Android phones.
The workshop, brought together key stakeholders including farmers, traders, agro-dealers, policy-makers, and consumers.