Sai Kham Thi1, Floris Van Ogtrop1, Liam Southam-Rogers1,2, Daniel K.Y. Tan1
1The University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia, 2Applied Horticultural Research, Biomedical Building C81, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia, Tel: 61 2 8627 1052
Pesticide use by farmers in Myanmar is increasing to protect crops from pest infestation. The increased use of pesticides has the potential to cause environmental contamination and poses a health risk to growers and consumers. This study focused on the analysis of pesticide residues in five vegetables grown in the Inle Lake region of Myanmar: cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, Chinese kale and pepper derived from five villages (Taung Po Gyi, Tha Pyay Pin, Nga Phae Chaung, Mwe Pway and Taung Che) and from three different markets (Thirimingalar, Nyaung Shwe and Aung Ban). The analyses were conducted using a quick test tool kit. In addition to these chemical analyses of vegetable samples, a survey was undertaken on farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practice toward the safe use of pesticides. Over 75% of vegetables sampled from both villages and markets had detectable insecticide residues. Only 38% of growers reported receiving training on safe use of pesticides from agrochemical companies and 62% of interviewees did not receive any training. For pesticide selection and use, 33% of farmers received information from agrochemical company staff, followed by 32% from pesticide retailers, 30% from peer farmers, 3% by self-decision and 2% from government. In terms of using protective equipment during pesticide application, 18% of farmers did not use any protective equipment, 10% wore only a mask and 72% wore a mask, gloves, long sleeve shirt and trousers. The implications of this work for the future safe and responsible use of pesticides on vegetable crops in Myanmar are discussed.