Sunday, August 3, 2014

Present status of pesticide use by commercial vegetable growers of Kirtipur area: A case study.

Netra Prasad BhattaM. Sc. Horticulture, 2013IAAS, TU, Kirtipur, Kathmandu.
Present status of pesticide use by commercial vegetable growers of Kirtipur area: A case study.
Table of Contents


The purpose of this study is to document different pesticides used, knowledge and practices of pesticide used and different safety precautions followed by commercial vegetable growers of Kirtipur area. A field level survey of 10 households involved in commercial vegetable cultivation was done during March-April, 2014. Secondary data was gathered through printed reports and web searches which were used to describe and verify the study. Commercial vegetable cultivation was dominated by male farmers having education achievement above SLC. Agro vets, friends, extension service organization and self experience of farmers are the major sources of information to the farmers. Only 40% farmers get the training about the safe use and handling of pesticides. The study found that only 30% farmers read the printed materials pertaining to the pesticides and interestingly 60% farmers read leaflet enclosed with pesticides. It was also found that in advance case of disease and insect pest infestation cocktail of various pesticides were used by farmers. A large proportion of farmers (90%) were found aware about expiry date of pesticides but only 80% farmers read the expiry date themselves. All farmers were found aware about the bad impact of pesticide among them 20% have experienced headache and 30% experienced eye infection, fever and dizziness 10% in each. 80% of farmers perceive that pesticides enters in our body through respiration pathway and only 20% farmers have detail knowledge about the entry of pesticides in our body. Farmers know little about toxicity labels and mode of action of pesticides. 40% farmers know nothing about the toxicity label of pesticides and only 20% farmers know little about mode of action of pesticides. The maximum frequency of pesticide spray was found in tomato up to 18 times followed by cucumber and bitter gourd. Rogor is the most frequently and most widely sprayed insecticide followed by carbine. All farmers were found aware about the need of safety precautions. 60% farmers store pesticide inside tunnel either in crate or hanging and 30% farmers stores in the corner place inside house. Almost all farmers wear one or more protective cloth but 50% farmers don’t wear gloves during pesticide handling and 30% don’t wear protective shoes during pesticide spray. 50% farmers dispose empty container properly but 30% throw empty containers in to the water bodies and 20% sell them to the junk collectors. Most (50%) of the farmers have waiting period less than 3 days and 40% have waiting period between 3-5 days. Almost all farmers harvest crop just before spraying but weather condition greatly influence the waiting period. Alternative method of disease and pest control is not practiced in study area. Majority of farmers (60%) were applying pesticides in increasing rate and 40% farmers applying in constant rate. It was found that farmers spray 5-6 litre pesticide solution per ropani for small plants and 16 litre per ropani for large plants. The development of resistance by some insects is the vital reason for increase in use of pesticides. Farmers apply pesticides irrespective of insect pest population and weather condition in predetermined time period is the major reason for misuse of pesticide.
Keywords: Pesticides, safety precautions, commercial vegetable cultivation etc.

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

According to FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization), “A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances that are intended for preventing, destroying, controlling and mitigating any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies”. In general Pesticides are chemical substances used to suppress or kill animals, plants, insects and pests in agricultural, domestic and institutional settings. The main groups of commonly used pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fumigants and rodenticides.
Nepal has a marvelous opportunity for producing vegetables as diverse agro-eco-zone favors both season and off-season varieties. Due to this advantage farmers are encouraged to produce vegetables. Thus production and productivity of vegetables has been increasing significantly for the last decade by utilizing high external inputs including pesticides. Nepal has potential for fresh vegetables and processed products in the international market as well. Commercial vegetable cultivation is one of the remunerable venture which was also focused by the Agriculture Perspective Plan (APP) through pocket production program where it seems feasible. The increasing awareness aiming consumers to incorporate vegetables in their diet so as to uplift their nutritional status also indirectly encourage farmers to commercial vegetable production. Commercial vegetable production, as is high external input demanding farming, such as heavy use if artificial chemicals and their indiscriminate and uneconomic use have led to outbreak of certain previously unknown pests which incur heavy losses.
Farmers use chemical insecticides as it is easy to use, easily available and fast in action. No matter, it kills harmful or useful insects. The hazards caused by pesticides application in Nepal are not only due to overuse of pesticides but also more due to misuse of pesticides. The quantity of pesticides used is increasing in Nepal without any study about the proper use and its effect on environment, ecosystem and health of the living beings. Most of the pesticides used in Nepal are of broad spectrum in nature. There are few safer pesticides, but their use has been limited as many farmers are unaware about these types of pesticides. Majority of them are unaware about the type of pesticide, safety precautions, level of precautions, level of poisoning, and potential hazards to human health and environment.
Kathmandu is one of the mid hill district where there is easy availability of pesticides and there also exists pocket area for commercial vegetable cultivation. Farmers are using excessive pesticides without considering the health of consumers. They sell their produce without any consideration of the waiting periods. Such over burning problems should be viewed on their locality. However, very few information are available about household level practices of pesticide use and related knowledge of commercial vegetable growers of Kirtipur area of central Kathmandu district that contribute for safe use of pesticide. In this context this study attempts to explore the knowledge status and pesticide use of commercial vegetable growers of Kirtipur area in Kathmandu.

1.2 Objectives of the study

·         To document different pesticides that are being used in the study areas.
·         To identify famers knowledge and practices of pesticide use
·         To find out different safety precautions followed by farmers.
·         To provide the scientific data to the government body for further researches.

2. Literature review                     

Nepal has unique opportunities for producing vegetables as diverse agro-eco-zone favors both, season and off-season varieties (Shrestha et al., 2010). The trend of pesticide use is increasing in Nepal by about 10-20% per year and expenses on pesticide in market oriented vegetables and fruit production has been a major cost factor (Jasmine et al., 2008). Studies have shown that more than 90% of the total pesticides are used in vegetable farming (Atreya and Sitaula, 2010). Globally, agriculture sector consumes approximately 85 percent (Raven et al., 2008, cited by Atreya et al., 2012) of the, estimated 4.6 million tones of pesticides used each year (Zhang et al., 2011). Use of pesticides is increasing in Nepal after its first introduction in 1952 for malaria eradication (Sharma et al., 2012). The national consumption of pesticides increased by 236% in past ten years with fluctuating trends; from 146mt ai in 2001/2 to 345mt a.i. in 2011/12(PRMD,2013). Fungicides occupy major volume (48.3%) and insecticides (33.24%) in national consumption. The proportion of vegetables growers using pesticides increase from 7.1% in 1991/92 to 16.1% in 2001/2002(CBS, 2006).
By the end of 2010, Fifty two certified importers are involved in marketing of seventy six registered common pesticides in three hundred and forty two trade names. Majority of registered pesticides are insecticides (36/76), followed by fungicides (18/76) (Koirala et al., 2009). A survey conducted by Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) indicated that Nepalese people are at alarming threat of pesticides in their diets (Koirala et al., 2009/010). The  study in  pachkhal area of kavre showed that 43% of total interviewed farmers (23) used none of the safety measures 50% of the respondents use the mouth covers such as masks and cloths on mouth, 6.25% of them use the gloves, no one use both the mouth cover and gloves in combination(Karmacharya,2012). A study in Nepal and India showed that 31% of farmers complained of headache, 27% eye irritation, 24% skin burning, 10% nausea and 9% dizziness associated with plant protection sprayers (Rao et al., 2009). A study conducted in Dhading district showed that many farmers do not care about the safe handling of pesticides. Studies have reported that more than 50% farmers used their bare hands while mixing pesticides (Shrestha et al., 2010).
A research conducted to estimate the levels of pesticide residues in different vegetables by Nepal Government in 2005 found that tomato sample from Kavrepalanchowk district (hilly region) was contaminated with 1.64ppm of Mancozeb and 0.840 ppm of Cypermethrin and potato sample from Terai was found to be contaminated with 0.16ppm of Mancozeb (DFTQC, 2004). Commodity-wise detection of pesticides in Nepal showed the highest level of residues in root vegetables (11.9%) followed by leaf vegetables (10.9%) (Koirala et al., 2009). Pesticides and their degraded products would flow into the atmosphere, soils and rivers, resulting in the accumulation of toxic substances and thus threatening human health and the environment (Zhang et al., 2011). Only 1% applied pesticides reaches up to the target pest, rest goes to non target categories (Atreya et al., 2012)

Farmers generally do not follow the pre-harvest waiting period. They apply pesticides near harvesting time, and some farmers even dip vegetables in pesticides before selling (Dahal, 1995; Sharma, 2011). Out of 30 farmers of ktm valley, nearly 35% used to wait less than 1 week and only 10% waited for 1 month. The application of pesticide close to harvesting time could be the main reason for the contamination of fruits and vegetables brought to Kathmandu from surrounding areas (Giri,2010).

The extent of bad impact of pesticides on environment and human health is largely depends on farmers knowledge and practices of pesticides use on crops. Some location specific research showed that overuse and misuse are associated patterns with the use of pesticides in Nepal (Sharma et al., 2012). Proper pesticide waste disposal is also an important part of responsible pesticide use. Accidental release or uncontrolled discharge of pesticide waste into the environment can harm people and contaminate the environment (Damalasb et al., 2008). Pesticides can be dangerous to consumers, workers and close bystanders during manufacture, transport, or during and after use (USEPA, 2007).The World Health Organization and the UN Environmental Program estimate that each year, 3 million workers in agriculture in the developing world experience severe poisoning from pesticides, about 18,000 of whom die (Miller, 2004).

3. Material and methods

Primary data collection: A field level survey of 10 households involved in commercial vegetable production was carried out in kirtipur-6 and Tinthana-5 of Kathmandu district during March-April, 2014. These households are selected randomly for this study. Farmers cultivating tomato, cucumber, bitter gourd, potato, cauliflower, cabbage were included in this study. Semi-structured questionnaire set with combination of open and closed questions were developed for interview.
Secondary data collection: Secondary data was gathered through printed reports and web searches which were used to describe and verify the study.
Data analysis and interpretation:
The collected information are displaced in tabulated form and these data are expressed in pie charts and bar diagrams and these findings are analyzed and compared with the help of available literatures.

4. Findings and discussion:

4.1 Demographic findings:

Commercial vegetable cultivation was dominated by male farmers (90%), only 10% were female among 10 farmers interviewed. Most of studied populations were janajaties (Newari, Tamang, Limbu) and very few are bramins. Education level of farmers ranges widely. 40% have education achievement above SLC, 30% have secondary level education, 20% have primary level education and 10% farmers don’t take any academic education. Most of the farmers (70%) took land in lease and only 30% have their own land. The farming area varies from 3 ropani to 28 ropani. Majority of growers (60%) have 3-9 ropani, 30% have 10-19 ropani, and only 1 have more than 20 ropani area. Almost all farmers cultivate tomato as major crop inside plastic tunnel and very low cultivation of cabbage, cauliflower and cucurbit crops.  Farmer’s involvement in commercial cultivation ranges from 2-35 years and accordingly the years of pesticide use on vegetable crops.

4.2 Knowledge level of farmers

Knowledge source
Farmers have wide portfolio of knowledge sources to learn about when, which and how much pesticide to use. The sources includes trainings, radio/television programs, agrovets, agriculture service centre, friends and own experience. Large segment (70%) of farmers simultaneously refers the multiple sources. However, the major source of decision making differ farmers to farmers. Major source of information for farmers depends upon the social relationship among farmers in the community, behavior of extension workers and availability of alternative sources. Friends and neighboring farmers are most common and among them but in competitive social setting they may equivocate the precious knowledge.
Almost all farmers consult the agrovets for pesticide selection and application. But more than three-fourth(80%) of total depends on agrovets as the major source of information and one-fifth(20%) farmers depends upon friends, neighbor and self judgement about how much and when to apply the pesticide.
Knowledge source of farmers
Knowledge sources
Referring farmers
Pesticide retailers
Friends, neighbor, self decision
Agriculture trainings and communication services has reached up to the farmers with varying coverage. Training has relatively narrow coverage; only 40% farmers had got training about agriculture production and use of pesticides. Use of printed communication materials is still low among farmers. Only 30% farmers read the printed materials pertaining to, agriculture production and pesticide use. Farmers mentioned the unavailability of printed materials at local level as the major limiting factor behind the low number of readers. Interestingly 60% farmers in the study area read the information leaflet enclosed with pesticide pack which is higher than the percentage reader 33.3% reported by shrestha et. al.(2010) in vegetable production pocket in dhading district. The rest 40% donot read the leaflet due to letters being very small, printed in language other than nepali and illiteracy of some farmers.
Types of knowledge sources
There is slight variation in types of pesticides recommended by various sources. There are various trade names of pesticides having same chemical composition. Agrovets tend to recommend new pesticides or the stock they have. Agrovets suggest to increase the dose of same pesticide or cocktail of two pesticides if the previous dose didn’t show satisfactory results. They deal differently with the experienced farmers. Pesticides of high toxicity level are not sold to them. Agrovets mostly deals with chemical pesticides but DADOs and NGOs often tend to suggest about botanical and homemade organic pesticides in addition to chemical pesticide. Some farmers believe that the doses suggested by agrovets are higher than the recommendation made by DADOs and NGOs. DADOs and NGOs are major source of information for safety precaution for pesticide use.
 Level of knowledge
Expiry of pesticides
A large proportion of farmers 90% were found aware about the expiry of pesticides they apply. More than two-third(80%) were able to read the expiry date themselves or with the help of family members, 10% farmers ask with retailers about the expiry date while 10% farmers are ignorant about the expiry date of pesticides and they thought that agrovets don’t sold date expired pesticides to the regular costumers.
Pesticide effect on health
Percentage of farmers
Red eye and skin irritation


4.3 Negative impact of pesticides:

Almost all farmers know the pesticide have bad impact as well. Most of the (90%) farmers were able to describe the example of bad impact in human health. about one-third (30%) of farmers were having detail knowledge about the effect of pesticides in environment and human health as well. Half (50%) of the farmers have experienced the bad effects in body during pesticide spraying. These effects are headache, fever, dizziness and red eye.
Though, the most of the interviewed farmers know the health hazards of pesticides if sprayed in fruiting or harvesting stage. They spray chemical pesticides due to absence of effective alternative control measures. There is no market control, pesticide residues are not checked in market and there is no price variation of vegetables having varied level of pesticide use in the market.

4.4 Pesticide interception in to human body:

Farmer’s perceptions about the pathways of pesticides interception into human body are oral path, dermal path and inhalation path. Most of the farmers (50%) perceive pesticide enters in our body through respiration (nose), enters through mouth and nose by one-third (30%)farmers and through all 3 pathways by one-fifth(20%) farmers.
Percentage of farmers
Mouth+ Nose
Mouth+ Nose+ Skin

4.5 Toxicity level and mode of action

Farmers know little about the toxicity labels and mode of action of pesticides. Only 10% know the meaning of 4 toxicity labels on container of pesticides. 40% farmers only know the meaning of red color label and were indifferent to rest of 3 colors. 10% know the red and green color label but remaining 40% farmers don’t know anything about toxicity label of pesticides. It was surprising that only 20% know something about mode of action of pesticides. Farmers know the trade name of pesticides but don’t know the chemical names. The new and unfamiliar pesticides were understood as hard type and familiar pesticides were perceived as soft types by the farmer’s irrespectiveness of their actual toxicity level.

4.6 Frequency of pesticides spray by farmers

Pesticide spray
12-15 times

15-18 times
6 times
Bitter gourd
4-6 times
Broad bean
4 times
3 times
3 times

4.7 Farmers practices of pesticide use

4.7.1 Pesticide appliances

In study area, pesticides are applied using very simple manual sprayers. The hand compression (usually 9-litre capacity) and the knapsack sprayer (16-litre capacity) are very commonly used.

4.7.2 Pesticide use patterns

Farmers were applying range of insecticides and fungicides in study area that includes 9 types of insecticide, 5 types of fungicides and 1 bacteriocide. All interviewed farmers were applying chemical pesticides and one-thirds (30%) were using Neem based botanical pesticide (Niconeem) which is found effective for white flies as good repellent. It was also found that none of them were using microbial pesticides.
The frequency of pesticide spray ranges up to 18 times in a crop. Pesticide sprayed at highest frequency in tomato (18 times) followed by cucumber (up to 6 times) and broad bean up to 4 times. Shrestha and Neupane (2002) reported 2-15 spray in tomato, bitter gourd and cucumber in kabhre district of nepal. The frequency of application of pesticides for tomato in study area seems relatively higher in study area but similar results were found in other crops.
Level of disease and insect pest infestation, weather condition and market value of product were influencing the level of pesticide application by farmers. Farmers increase spray with increase in pest infestation (shrestha et. al., 2010). Farmers were found to spray insecticides in low concentration if insect population is low in plot. They increase the concentration in spray solution with increase in pest population. Such practices may lead to pesticide resistance in insects and requires higher dose in future to get desired level of control. It was also found that the frequency of application increase with increase in insect, pest and disease infestation, farmers spray in higher frequency in crop of high market value, high disease and insect pest infesting crops, for instances tomato, cucumber and bitter gourd. Calendared application was observed in tomato by most of the growers.

4.7.3 Number of farmers using various pesticides

Name of pesticides
Number of farmers
Cupper oxychloride
Dimethoate plus
Emamectin benzoate
Diethane M-45

Nearly two third (60%) of farmers of the study area mixes different insecticides or fungicides but they don’t mix insecticides and fungicides together. Agrovets also recommend the cocktail of fungicides or insecticides in severe case of insect, pest and disease infestation. The cocktail of pesticides includes Magic+Image for whitefly; Plantomycin+Tagmil, Kingmill+Protector, cupper Oxychloride+Plantomycin for blight; Niconeem+Manik for leaf minor, surprisingly one grower also mixes Rogar and Carbine to control tomato fruit borer.
Among the insecticides Rogar was most widely used with highest spray frequency. 80% farmers were spraying rogar at frequency of 6-8 times. Carbine was the second largest used insecticides used by 60% farmers and sprayed 4-5 times. Farmers prefer to spray Rogar at early stage to control white flies and carbine at fruiting stage to control fruit borer. Other insecticides used are Manik, Bishmark, and NicoNeem sprayed 2-3 times occasionally. Chemical pesticides are sprayed from seedling stage to fruiting or harvesting stage. All farmers were applying chemical pesticides for full crop period.
Carbendazim+ Mancozeb (Safal, Safaya) is most widely used by 80% farmers in initial phase at least for 1 month as a preventive pesticide to blight. 2-4 spray was done. Cupper oxychloride is another widely used by 70% farmers and most frequently used up to 10 times in offseason tomato. Mancozeb is also used by 60% farmers sprayed at a frequency of 3-4 times.

4.7.4 Number of pesticides used by farmers

No of insecticides
No. of Users

Farmers were found to prefer 3 kinds of insecticides and fungicides. 40% of interviewed farmers were using 3 kinds of insecticides and fungicides.

4.8 Pesticide cost analysis

                  Average cost and return per Ropani area
Total cost of production
Pesticide cost
Net income
Out of total 89 Ropani area cultivated by interviewed 10 farmers, the average cost of productions of vegetables was found Rs. 51558.42 per Ropani. Pesticides cost solely contribute Rs. 7210.11 per Ropani, which is 13.98% of total cost of production.

4.9 Safety precautions

4.9.1 Pesticide storage

Generally, farmers buy pesticides before they use while others buy them when needed. In the first case, farmers have to store the pesticides at their residences for some time. Safety is the most important necessity in course of pesticide application. All farmers were found aware about the need of keeping pesticides beyond the reach of children. Nearly two-third (60%) of farmers were putting the pesticides inside the corner places of tunnel or hanging inside the tunnel. One-thirds (30%) farmers store pesticides at corner place inside house and interestingly one grower have separate shed to store pesticides.
Fig: unsafe storage of pesticides.

4.9.2 Protection clothing and cleaning

     Fig: unsafe handling of pesticides.
All farmers are found aware about the protection during spraying. Almost all farmers wear at least one protective thing during spraying. More than two-third(70%) of farmers wear mask and full sleeve clothes, 20% wear mask only and only one farmer wear all protective clothes along with goggle. Out of 10 farmers 5 farmers don’t wear globes in hand during pesticide formulation and handling, 3 farmers don’t wear protective shoe during pesticide spray. Shrestha reported that one sixth(16.6%) of vegetable growers wear globes for mixing the pesticides with water.
Farmers were found aware of cleaning the body parts after pesticide spray and they don’t eat anything during preparation and spraying. All farmers wash their hands, feet and face with soap after each spray, farmers also clean the pesticide containers with water after use, and such practices are helpful to minimize the pesticide hazards to some extent.
Protective clothing
Percentage of farmers
Mask only
Mask+ full sleeves
Mask+ full sleeves + goggle

4.9.3 Handling of empty containers

Empty containers are not managed properly. Half (50%) of the farmers dispose empty containers by burning near the farm, One-third (30%) throw these containers on the rivers, one fifth (20%) farmers sold to the junk collectors. Most of the farmers collect empty containers on the side of farm for some period so the children are likely to be exposed to pesticide risk if they play with empty containers. Interestingly, none of them were using the pesticide containers to store food and other things.

4.10 Waiting period

Waiting period can be defined as the period between the last application of pesticide on a crop and the date of its harvest. Waiting period was found to base on types of pesticides used, types of crops and weather condition. Waiting period ranges from 1 to 7 days in study area. Farmers perceive mancozeb, carbendazim and niconeem as soft type of pesticides; they wait 1-3 days after its application. Other pesticides such as Rogar, Carbine, Deltamethrin were understood as hard types and they wait 3-7 days. Waiting period is usually short in crops requiring frequent harvesting such as tomato, cucumber and cowpea, where the product becomes uneconomical to sell if not harvested in 2-3 day interval. Farmers harvest such crops in interval of 2-3 days even if hard pesticides have been applied.
Variation in waiting period
Waiting period
Less than 3 day
3-5 days
More than 5 days
No of farmers
Farmers harvest all matured crops just before spraying. Adverse weather conditions such as rainfall, high temperature and market price determines the waiting period of pesticides. Most of the farmers were aware about waiting period. Some farmers also thought that after harvesting it takes two more days to reach consumers table so the risk of pesticide is minimized and some thought that fungicides are mostly sprayed on leaves so the fruits are not much poisoned.

4.11 Lists of pesticides most commonly used by farmers

Frequency of application
Waiting period
Safaya,Safal(carbendazim+mancozeb or thiophanate methyl 70%wp)
2-4 times

Anumil, Kingmil MZ(Metalaxyl+Mancozeb)
Tomato, potato

3 day

3 day

3 days
Diethane M-45(mancozeb 75%)
3 times
7 days
Magic,Bishmark,Manik(acetamiprid 20%sp)
Tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, bitter  gourd etc.

2 day
Image(thiamethoxam 25% WP)

2-3 day
Kingstar, Cobra(Emamectin benzoate 5%)

2-3 day
Move, tiger(triazophos+deltramethrin)

3 day
4-5 times
2-3 day
Rogar(Dimethoate plus 30%EC)
Tomato, broad bean, cucumber
6-7 times
3-4 days

1-2 day
Nuvan,Doom(Dichlorovous 76%)
Onion,Broad bean
3 times
4-5 days
King hunter(cyromazine 10% sc)
Tomato and cucurbits

3 day
Preventol Dv. (Polyformphos)

2-3 day
Change in pesticides
The practice of alternately using the different insecticides or fungicides was not common among the farmers. Even though the majority of farmers were using more than one insecticides and fungicides, they select the second kind of insecticides or fungicides if one couldn’t give good results or depending upon the maturity stage of crops. For instances Dimethoate and carbendazim+Mancozeb are preferably applied at seedling stage; carbine and cymoxlin+mancozeb applied at fruiting or maturing stage.
Alternate to chemical pesticides
Alternative methods of pest management other than chemical pesticides are not common among the commercial vegetables in study area. Chemical pesticides were dominantly being used. None of the interviewed farmers were using microbial pesticides. Use of biopesticides at national level also seems very low, biopesticides were imported in nepal in very low quantity, only 120 kg in 2011/12(PRMD, 2013). Few farmers were found to use Niconeem in addition to chemical pesticides. Farmers still thought that only the chemical pesticides can save their crop from pests, they have very less faith on biopesticides and botanicals. Farmers prefer to buy the pesticides in ready to use form. Pesticides are readily available in agrovets. Almost all farmers buy pesticides from different agrovets of kalimati.
Quantitative trend of pesticide
The trend of pesticide use is increasing in Nepal by about 10-20% per year. Expenses on pesticides in market oriented vegetables and fruit production has been a major cost factor (Diwakar et. al., 2008). Majority of interviewed farmers (60%) were using the pesticide at increasing level in 3 year and 40% farmers were applying pesticides in unchanged level in last 3 years.
Pesticide use trend
Level of pesticide use
No change
No. of farmers
The degree of pesticide resistance by some pest is increasing. Nowadays white flies and leaf minors are not effectively controlled by Bishmark and Rogar. So, farmers either go for higher dose of same pesticides or cocktaili of two pesticides. So, the use of pesticides in vegetables is increasing.

4.12 Misuse of pesticides

Pesticides misuse is being a serious concern in the commercial pockets areas of agricultural production (Sharma et. al., 2012). Hazards caused by pesticides application in Nepal are not only due to overuse of pesticides, but also more due to misuse of pesticides (Diwakar et. al., 2008). In study area farmers apply pesticides in predetermined time interval irrespective of disease and insect pest infestation. In case of adverse weather conditions farmers increase the frequency of pesticide application. Unregistered and illegal products, open air sales, sales of banned products, cases of decanting and reweighing, sales of expired products with modified expiry dates are among the misuse cases that have been reported in Nepal (Sharma et. al., 2012). This study revealed that almost all farmers indiscriminately use the pesticides for insects with varying feeding behavior; this is another way of misuse. Farmers also don’t properly handle the remaining pesticide solutions they either overspray the remaining solution or took it for next spray. Some farmers poured the remained solution near the tomato plants.
The volume of formulations sprayed depends upon the size of plants and intensity of pest infestation. Farmers spray thinly in small plants and in case of low insect population.
Plant size
Volume of spray solutions
Small plants
5-6 liter/ropani
Large plants
16 liter/ropani

5. Conclusion

This study concludes that the level of awareness in farmers of Kirtipur area is still low about safe use and handling of pesticides. It was also found that in advance case of disease and insect pest infestation cocktail of various pesticides were used by farmers. Farmers know little about toxicity labels and mode of action of pesticides. Almost all farmers harvest crop just before spraying but weather condition greatly influence the waiting period. Alternative method of disease and pest control is not practiced in study area. Most of the farmers are not trained for safe handling of pesticides so environment pollution is increasing day by day and risk of pesticide poisoning is also high. There is requirement of Selection and distribution of appropriate pesticides and their handling and use as per the label for safe use of chemical pesticides. Strong science-based and research-supported intensive IPM programs are needed in this area. There is urgent need of the awareness among the farmers and the community regarding the pesticides issues.


 Atreya, K. and B. K. Sitaula, 2010. Mancozeb: growing risk for agricultural communities? Himalaya Journal of Sciences, 6(8). xx-xx.
 Atreya, K., B.K. Sitaula and R.M. Bajracharya.2012. Pesticide use in agriculture: The philosophy, complexities and opportunities. Scientific Research and Essays Vol.7(25). Retrived on 15 march 2014 from
CBS, 2006. Agriculture census Nepal 2001/02. National planning commission Secretariat, Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Damalasb C. A., G. K. Telidis and S. D. Thanos, 2008. Assessing farmers’ practices on disposal of pesticide waste after use. Sci Total Enviro.n, 390, pp 341-5.
DFTQC, 2004. Annual Bulletin of Department of Food Testing and Quality Control, Kathmandu Nepal.
Diwakar, J., T. Prasai, S.R. Pant and B.L. Jayana. 2008. Study on Major pesticides and fertilizers used in Nepal. Scientific World, Vol. 6(6).
Giri. N., 2010. Pesticide Use and Food Safety in Kathmandu Valley/ Nepal, Master Thesis submitted to Institute of Soil Research, University Of Natural Resources And Life Sciences (Boku)
Jasmine, D., T. Prasai, S. R. Pant and B. L. Jayana, 2008. Study on major pesticides and fertilizers used in Nepal. Scientific World, 6(6):76-80.
Karmacharya, S. 2012. Pesticide use in agriculture and its socio- economic contexts, a case study of panchkhal area, kavre, nepal. International journal of scientific & technology research. 1(9). Available on
Koirala, P., Dhakal, S. and A.S. Tamrakar, 2009. Pesticides and Food Safety Issues in Nepal. The Journal of Agriculture and Environment, 10: 33-36
Koirala, P., N. R. Dahal, M. R. Bhandari, K. B. Shrestha, G. Dawadi and J. P. Lama, 2009/010. Food Research Bulletin (DFTQC), 3:5-15.
Miller G.T., 2004. Sustaining the Earth, 6th edition, Thompson Learning, Inc. Pacific Grove, California. Chapter 9, Pages 211-216.
PRMD, 2013.Bisadi Tathyanka Pustika, 2069/70. Pesticide Registration and Management Division(PRMD), Kathmandu,Nepal.
Rao, G. V., V. Ranga, R. Rao, V. P. Prasanth, N. P. Khannal, N. K. Yadav and C. L. L. Gowda, 2009. Farmer's perception on plant protection Insect Science, 29(3):158- 168.
Sharma D. R., 2011. Status of pesticides and relevant information of Nepal. Paper presented in Consultative Workshop on SAARC Pesticide Information Sharing Network (SPINet) in Candi, Sri Lanka, June30-July 2, 2011.
Sharma, D.R., R.B. Thapa, H.K. Manandhar, S.M. Shrestha and S.B. Pradhan.2012. Use of pesticides in Nepal and impacts on health and invironment. The Journal of Agriculture and Environment Vol:13
Shrestha, P., P. Koirala and A. S. Tamrakar, 2010. Knowledge, practice and use of pesticides among commercial vegetable growers of Dhading district, Nepal. The Journal of Agriculture and Environment, 11:95-100.
Shrestha, P.P. and F.P. Neupane. 2002. Socio-economic contexts on pesticide use in Nepal. Landschftsokologie und Umweltforschung 38 p.205-223 Braunschweig
US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007. Available on Retrieved on 15th march, 2014.
Zhang, W.J., F.B. Jiang and J. F. Ou. 2011. Global pesticide consumption and pollution: with china as a focus. In: Proceedings of the intenational Academy of Ecology and
Environmental Sciences, 2011, 1(2):125-140. Retrived from web site:

                Fig: interviewing with vegetable grower.               

       Fig: unsafe storage of pesticides.                                                                    
Present status of pesticide use by commercial vegetable growers of kirtipur area.                                                
                                                 Interview schedule
1. Respondent number: [         ]                                                  2. Date of interview:
3. Respondent’s information:
                    i.            Name of respondent:
                  ii.            Address: ……………………………………………………
                iii.            Gender: [    ] male      [     ] female
                iv.            Age:  [    ] years
                  v.            Ethnicity/caste: ………………………..
                vi.            Education level ………………………………..
              vii.            Place of birth: …………………….
            viii.            Marital status: [    ] married, [          ] single
                ix.            Family type: [   ] nuclear              [     ] joint               [    ] extended
                  x.            Number of family members: Total  [      ]     Male [     ]    Female[    ]
                xi.            Number of family member involved in vegetable cultivation. [    ]
              xii.            Phone no: ……………………….
            xiii.            Area of farm: Total area [     ] ropani        cultivated area [     ] ropani
            xiv.            starting of farming:  [     ] years ago
              xv.            Are you satisfied with this vegetable farming? [    ] Yes    [    ] No
4. General information of farm
Name of vegetables
Cultivated Area
Total cost of production
Pesticide cost
Total weight of pesticide
Total returns

5. Pesticides information:
Name of pesticides
Vegetable crops
Disease/ insect
Conc./interval of spray
Danger level
Mode of action
Spray volume
Waiting period
Taken from

6. Have you taken training about safe use of pesticide? If yes, from where/whom?
7. Do you have knowledge about expiry date of pesticides? Do you see expiry date on container?
8. Do you know about bad impact of pesticide in our body?
9. Do you face any impact of pesticide in your body?
10. Do you know the pathways of pesticide enter in our body?
11. Do you know about toxicity label? What does that mean?
12. Do you have knowledge about mode of action of pesticides?
13. What are the safety precautions you followed before, during and after spraying?
14. How and where you store these pesticides?
15. What you do about remaining pesticides?
16. How you dispose empty containers of pesticides?
17. What is your waiting period after spraying?
18. Which factor determines your waiting period?
19. Which is the most frequently used pesticide?
20. Do you have knowledge about the development of pesticide resistance in insects?
21. Do you use bio pesticides? Which and for what?
22. What is your knowledge source for use of pesticide? (When to use?, which pesticide and how much?)
23. Do you read printed materials (Newspapers, bulletins etc.) about pesticides?
24. Do you read leaflet enclosed with pesticides?
25. in your view which is the highest pesticide requiring crop?
26. What are the problems you faced about availability of pesticide?
27. Do you use any alternative pesticide for same problem?
28. Have you practiced the mixing of pesticides? If yes, for what?
29. What are your sources of information for pesticide use?
30. What is your major source of knowledge about the use of pesticide?
31.  What is your recommendation to government about pesticide?