ABSTRACT

The coastal area of Bangladesh usually faces a lot of natural hazards and the farmers of this particular region have faced many problems. Hence, the current study was under taken to find out the situation of farmers perception concerning about detrimental effects of pesticide on environment. Uses of pesticide have always been a vital concern for environment as well as in agriculture. Investigating farmers’ understanding of handling pesticide and their residues is very important in order to reduce human factors that negatively affect agricultural and environmental safety. One hundred and fifty farmers were randomly selected for the study. Our results revealed that 59% farmers had education at primary level. During interview it was found that the participants had been cultivating karala/bitter gourd since 18 years. They were using seven different types of pesticides among which Shobicron 425 EC (93%) frequently with an interval of 7-15 days. All most every farmer maintained the safety period at an average level (8-15 days) before harvesting karala after applying insecticides. Most of the farmers discarded the empty packages and bottles through buried them underground. While spraying pesticides they followed different types of health/safety principles/regulations, among the enlisted 5 types of measures mask use was mostly common but paid little attention to smoking. It is concluded to develop a more targeted agricultural extension program, extension organizations and policy makers should focus on these factors, in that case will be more responsive concerning the adverse effects of pesticides which is friendly for sustainable agricultural production as well as sustainable environment.

Key words: pesticides, farmers’ perception, sustainable environment, Rampala upazila.

Introduction

Environment and agriculture have forever been inter-linked. Agricultural production is depended on the environmental resources. Due to industrial and agricultural emission world’s environment is slowly degrading which may cause serious damage to lives on earth and this is very alarming situation for all of us. Beside industry it has been an established fact that agricultural sector is also polluting environment on a local, regional and global basis. Pesticide, an agricultural input was introduced in Bangladesh in 1957 and mainly DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) and BHC (also known as gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane /γ-HCH/gammaxene/Gammallin/and sometimes incorrectly called benzene hexachloride) were used in farmer level free of cost by the government until 1973. Next, the pesticides are becoming very popular to farmers. In 1974 the subsidy was reduced to 50% and completely withdrawn in 1979 (Islam, 2000). In 1979-80, the Government of Bangladesh transferred the trade-in pesticides (import, production and marketing) to the private sector. However, pesticide use in Bangladesh has increased from 758 tones in 1960; 3028 tones in 1980 and more than 19,000 tones in 2000 (Hasanuzzoha, 2004). The consumption of pesticides around the world has also increased rapidly in the last fifty years, due to believing that growth is likely to increase by pesticide, especially in developing countries (Yudelman et al., 1998). The use of pesticides has been recognized and accepted as an essential ingredient in modern agriculture for the control of pests that damage crops. It is used not only to improve crop production technology also to deliver quality products. But the concern is that most of the farmers in our country are illiterate and unable to read and understand the written instructions of the label. So, the irrational use of pesticides and the sale of vegetables before safe days may cause health disorder of human (Kabir et al., 1996). Distinction and excessive use of