Cocoa farmers' safety perception and compliance with precautions in the use of pesticides in centre and western Cameroon
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Although pesticides are necessary inputs in cocoa production, inability of farmers to comply with safety precautions poses significant threat to their health and sustainable cocoa production in Cameroon. This paper analyzed the determinants of compliance with pesticide safety guideliness among cocoa farmers. Data were collected with structured questionnaires administered to 667 cocoa farmers and analyzed with descriptive statistics and Negative Binomial regression. The results showed that majority of the farmers were males, with more than 10 years of farming experience. Awareness of safety precautions in handling pesticides was high. Among the safety kits, boots were owned by 62.26% and 76.87% of the farmers from Ngoumou and Buea, respectively. Safety compliance in the use of insecticides increased significantly (p<0.05) with land areas, being married and compliance with manufacturers' instructions but reduced with farmers' age, practice of touching it with bare hand and residence in Nogoumou (region). However, compliance with safety while handling fungicides significantly increased with being married but reduced with practice of touching it with bare hands. It was concluded that addressing the health risks associated with inappropriate handling of pesticides by cocoa farmers is paramount, and educating them on the need to follow manufacturers' instruction is necessary.