In being used in agriculture and industry

Inmany African countries agriculture is considered to be the key to economicdevelopment.

Agro-intensification has led to negative impact on the surroundingenvironment in many parts of the world (Wilson and Tisdell, 2001). Thechallenge for future food production in Africa is therefore to intensify theagricultural production without decreasing the capacity of the environment tosupply the population with other ecosystem services. Agriculture has been the backborn of the Kenyan economy. It is the basis for food security, for economicgrowth, employment creation and foreign exchange generation.Therapid expansion of the agricultural sector in Kenya has resulted in increaseddemand for agrochemicals (Ariga et al., 2006). The use of pesticides has manybenefits, increased crops and animal yields and reduced post harvest losses(Oerke, et al., 1994).

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The benefits associated with the use of pesticides haveresulted in an increase in the importation of assorted agrochemicals in thecountry. According to Singh et al., (2004), 371886 metric tonnes of fertilizerswere imported in Kenya, 271,886 more than that used in 1990. Kenya’s fertilizermarket was liberalized during the early 1990s when price and marketingcontrols, licensing arrangements and import permits and quotas were eliminated(Ariga et al.

, 2009). Pesticidesare highly toxic and have been associated with serious human health andenvironmental damages (Briggs et al, 1989). Extensive use of pesticides in theagricultural fields is among the most prominent sources of ground water contamination(Singh et al., 2004). About one-half of the human poisonings occur more in lessdeveloped countries, even though these places account for only 20% of theworld’s use of pesticides.

Many chemical substances identified as persistentorganic pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention are still being usedin agriculture and industry and these results in negative health andenvironmental consequences (Ashburner and Friedrich,2001). Today all over theworld consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of foodsafety and are therefore demanding high standards in marketed and processedfoods with emphasis also on agricultural practices with minimum detrimental impacton the environment (MOA, JICA, 2004). Previous pilot studies on pesticidehandling in Thailand, Guatemala and Kenya showed that once the product reachesretailers shelf, level of control 2 diminishes. The retailers provide littleadvice, and very few farmers read or understood labels, few had any training onsafe use of pesticides (Vlahodimos, 1990). Their improper use results innegative effects on the environment and human health


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