Assessment of Farmer’s Usage of Pesticides on Cocoa Farms at Sefwi Wiawso District in the Western Region of Ghana (Published)
Cocoa is the most important agricultural export crop in Ghana, and the country has an enviable reputation of producing high quality cocoa. Pests of cocoa are mostly controlled by the application of conventional insecticides. The study investigated farmers’ knowledge, pesticide use pattern and practices along the cocoa production chain. Descriptive survey design was used for the study since the researchers wanted to find out farmers opinion on the use of pesticides at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region. Purposive sampling technique was used because it captures the area which was relevant to the study. Questionnaires were administered to 84 cocoa farmers. The findings of the study revealed that majority of the farmers had indepth knowledge and skills in all aspect of farming since cocoa farming is their main vocation. Cocoa farming is their main source of income, hence are not able to follow the recommended pesticide usage regulation before harvesting. Consequently, it could lead to higher pesticide residue levels of the cocoa beans. With regard to the recommendation, there should be a lot of training programme for the farmers which should be organized by Ghana Cocoa Board and CODAPEC programme should be restored to regulate the use of pesticide by farmers. This is to ensure that the pesticides residue levels in the country’s cocoa beans are within the permissible levels to avoid the rejection of beans from Ghana with its associated international sanctions and loss of substantial revenue.