Environmental Effects Of The Use Of Agro-Chemicals For Rice Cultivation In Ufuma, Orumba North Local Government Area; Anambra State

Project and Seminar Material for Environmental Science

Environmental Effects Of The Use Of Agro-Chemicals For Rice Cultivation In Ufuma, Orumba North Local Government Area; Anambra State


Abstract


The study delved into the effect of the use of agrochemical in rice farming using Ufuma, Orumba North in Anambra State. Survey research design and convenience sampling method was employed for the study. Ninety(90) Questionnaire was issues to the respondent and eighty-seven was retrieved and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using frequency and tables which provided answers to the research questions. Findings from the study reveals that Agrochemical Pollutes the air, and released greenhouse gases, thereby bringing hazards to human health. Effect of agrochemical on the environment, includes, contamination of groundwater making it unfit for consumption and livestocks. The study therefore recommends that agricultural stakeholders such as the Ministry of agriculture to carry out sensitization campaigns to educate farmers on proper and efficient use of agrochemicals to improve productivity as well as prevent adverse environmental and human health effects.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

Rice (Oryzea spp) is one of the major staple food of the world, ranking third after wheat and maize on global production level and second in terms of area under cultivation (Adeoye, 2003). It is a major source of food for about half of the world’s population supplying basic energy needs of the people. In Nigeria, rice cultivation is an age long enterprise providing employment opportunity and source of food to vast and diverse population of the country. It is ranked the fourth major cereal crop in Nigeria after Sorghum, millet and maize in terms of cultivated area and output (Babafada, 2003). The importance of rice in the Nigeria diet can succinctly be explained by its demand and consumption pattern over the years. Starting from the 1960s when paltry 360 metric tonnes of locally produced rice was unable to meet local demand, to the 1.45 million tonnes produced in the 1990s which also fell far short of demand (National Cereals Research Institute [NCRI] 2004). The nation’s current annual production level of about 3 million tonnes is again a far cry from its consumption level of 5-6 million tonnes (Ugwu, 2013). The short fall, according to Ugwu (2013), is usually filled through importation with figures oscillating between 1.7 to 3.2 million tonnes.


1.1 Background of the Study

Agrochemicals are highly toxic and have been associated with serious human health and environmental damages (Briggs et al, 1989). Extensive use of agrochemicals in the agricultural fields is among the most prominent sources of ground water contamination (Singh et al., 2004) According to Konradsenet al., 2007, about one-half of the human poisonings occur more in lessdeveloped countries, even though these places account for only 20% of the world’s use of pesticides. Many chemical substances identified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention are still being used in agriculture and industry and these results in negative health and environmental consequences (Ashburner and Friedrich,2001).

Today all over the world consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of food safety and are therefore demanding high standards in marketed and processed foods with emphasis also on agricultural practices with minimum detrimental impact on the environment (MOA, JICA, 2004). Previous pilot studies on pesticide handling in Thailand, Guatemala and Kenya showed that once the product reaches retailers shelf, level of control.
Many environmental factors constrain the production of major food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. At the same time, these food production systems themselves have a range of negative impacts on the environment.

When it comes to rice production, it is best to classify it based on the environmental interaction understanding it effect on environment during pre production, prior to crop production, during production and post-production, and emphasize how those initial environmental impacts become new and more severe environmental constraints to crop yields. Pre-production environmental interactions relate to agricultural expansion or intensification, and include soil degradation and erosion, the loss of wild biodiversity, loss of food crop genetic diversity and climate change. Those during crop production include soil nutrient depletion, water depletion, soil and water contamination, and pest resistance/outbreaks and the emergence of new pests and diseases. Post-harvest environmental interactions relate to the effects of crop residue disposal, as well as crop storage and processing.

For instance, in the USA, the 1972 Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (FEPCA) and subsequent amendments acknowledge the negative effects of pesticide applications on both the environment and human health, regulate the use of pesticides and enforce compliance against banned pesticide products. The 2003, European Union Regulation EC No. 2003/2003 establishes that electrical conductivity fertilizers should meet a specific criteria in terms of nutrient content, safety and absence of adverse effects to the environment.

In 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture introduced the ‘Action to Achieve Zero Growth in the Application of fertilizer’ and ‘Action Plan for Zero Growth in the Application of Pesticide’, which both set specific goals, strategies, plans and relevant safeguard measures for controlling the usage of agricultural chemicals by year 2020
Scholars in the fields of agriculture, chemistry, environmental science, ecology, medicine and economics have also been highly concerned about the threat of excessively using agricultural chemicals to the environment and human health. Therefore it is upon the premise that this study set to examine environmental effects of the use of agro- chemicals for rice cultivation in Ufuma, Orumba north Local Government Area; Anambra state.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Increased use of agricultural chemicals or fertilizers—are often evaluated based on their benefits for economic efficiencies in production (e.g. reduction in total production costs and increased production yield) while less attention is generally given to their potential environmental effects.

However, many countries have reported alarming residues of agricultural chemicals in soil, water, air, agricultural products, and even in human blood and adipose tissue.Research suggests that the massive use of inorganic fertilizers world-wide is associated with the accumulation of contaminants, e.g. arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), fluorine (F), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) in agricultural soils [1].

In most developing countries, the pollution caused by agricultural chemicals is even more serious. The usage volume of fertilizers and pesticides in China has been the recorded as the highest in the world. Specifically, its chemical fertilizer usage volume has reached more than 59 million tons and pesticide more than 1.8 million tons.
Alarmingly, the total utilization rate of fertilizers and pesticides is only ~35% , and thus, any fertilizer and pesticide losses are likely to contaminate soil, surface water and groundwater. In China, estimates indicate that contaminated arable land area is ~150 million acres, accounting for 8.3% of the total arable land in the nation.

In addition, nearly half of the groundwater resources have been inordinately polluted by agricultural chemicals, which seriously threaten the safety of drinking water in China, especially in rural areas. WHO (2007)reports that consequences of an increased use of agricultural chemicals transcend the environment. Farmers in developing countries are experiencing, either short-term or long-term, health effects from exposures to agricultural chemicals, including severe symptoms (e.g. headaches, skin rashes, eye irritations) and some chronic effects (e.g. cancer, endocrine disruption, birth defects). Therefore is sis against this backdrop that this study is set ton examine environmental effects of the use of agro- chemicals for rice cultivation in Ufuma, Orumba north Local Government Area; Anambra State.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the research is to find out the potential risks of the use of agrochemicalfor rice cultivation on the environment and human health.

The specific objectives are;

  1. To determine the farmers‘ knowledge, attitudes and practices on agrochemical application in crop production.
  2. To establish the farmers source of information regarding the use agrochemical.
  3. To determine the types and quantities of agrochemical used by farmers in their major production processes in the study area.
  4. To identify the environmental and human health adverse effects associated with agrochemical usage

1.4 Research Questions

The research is guided by the following question

  1. What are the farmers‘ knowledge, attitudes and practices on agrochemical application in crop production?
  2. Where do the farmers get information on safe use of the agrochemical?
  3. How do the farmers apply the agrochemical in respect to types and quantities?
  4. What are the environmental and human health adverse effects the farmers associate with agrochemical use in crop production?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The researcher expects that study outcome to contribute significantly to information and knowledge on the potential risks to the environment and human health arising from the farmers‘ use of agrochemicals in their crop farming systems. The present study makes an important contribution to an improved understanding of the effects of agrochemicals on the environment in Anambra State and in Nigeria. Such an understanding is necessary for training on the safe use of agrochemicals. The study will generate specific information on the types and quantity of agrochemicals used.

The information is important to agricultural extension officers to formulate the most economical and safe ways of using agrochemicals in other rice producing states in the Country.

The study will generate information on the impacts of agrochemicals on human and the environment. information can be used by other scholars as literature review form basis for further research. The research outcome can thus be used by Ministry of Agriculture, agrochemical companies and other stakeholders to raise awareness of the need for safe handling and use of agrochemicals by the farming community through training and information dissemination for human and environmental safety. This information will be useful to the government and other stakeholders in developing appropriate policies to enhance environmental and human safety in agrochemicals use for sustainable agricultural production.


1.6 Scope of the Study

the scope of this study borders on the environmental effects of the use of agro- chemicals for rice cultivation using Ufuma, Orumba north Local Government Area Anambra State as a case study.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

The study encountered various militating factors which posed as a limitation such as:

Financial Constraint:

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time Constraint:

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Unwillingness of the Respondent:

The study was limited on the pieces of information that the farmers as respondents remembered and were willing to disclose and also to the respondents‘ capability to answer such questions.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Agro-Chemical:

This refers to fertilizers, pesticides (fungicides, insecticides and herbicides) used by the farmers in crop production.

Bioaccumulattion:

It refers to the buildup of toxic residues in the body of man and/or wildlife as a result of the use of agrochemicals.

Eutrophication:

It refers to a syndrome of ecosystem responses to human activities that fertilize water bodies with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), often leading to changes in animal and plant populations and degradation of water and habitat quality.

Fertilizer:

It refers to organic or inorganic chemicals used by the farmers at planting, topdressing or foliar application. Pest: As used in this study refers organism that is considered to be undesirable or destructive in crop growing rodents, diseases, insects and weeds.

Pesticide:

As used in this study refers to compounds used by farmers in plant/crops protection from pests and diseases and belongs to broad categories of insecticides, fungicides and herbicide


Chapter Five


Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary and Conclusion

The study delved into the effect of the use of agrochemical in rice farming using ufuma, Orumba North in Anambra State. Survey research design and convenience sampling method was employed for the study. Ninety(90) Questionaire was issues to the respondent and eighty-seven was retrieved and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using frequency and tables which provided answers to the research questions.

Finding from the study reveals that:

  • 14% of the rice farmers were negligible on the knowledge on the use of agrochemical. 34% had very little knowledge.
  • 26% of the respondent had little knowledge. 26% of the respondent had enough knowledge.
  • 57% of the respondent use agrochemical to increase yield, control pest and diseases. 26% uses it to improve rice appearance and marketability. 17% of the respondent uses it as adviced by agricultural agent.
  • 14% of the respondent said they get the information on the use of agochemical through experience and using of different types of chemicals over the years. 34% of the respondent said by agrochemical vendors.
  • 26% of the respondent said through other farmers. 26% of the respondent said by what is affordable.
  • 26% of the respondent apply agrochemical using hands from mixing basins. 57% uses the spraying tank. 17% of the respondent employ the service of agrochemical agents.

The study therefore concludes that

  1. Effect of agrochemical on the environment, includes, contamination of groundwater making it unfit for consumption and livestocks.
  2. Excess chemicals may lead to Eutrophication leading to extensive mortality of fishes and other aquatic animals.
  3. Excessive use of Agrochemicals leads to Contamination of crop products with harmful chemical residues.
  4. Agrochemical Pollutes the air, and released greenhouse gases, thereby bringing hazards to human health.

5.2 Recommendation

The following recommendation was made from the findings of the study

  1. This study recommend that agricultural stakeholders such as the Ministry of agriculture to carry out sensitization campaigns to educate farmers on proper and efficient use of agrochemicals to improve productivity as well as prevent adverse environmental and human health effects.
  2. There should be developed proper and effective information dissemination channels to ensure that farmers have adequate sources of technical information available on the safe use of the agrochemicals with regard to their recommended usage, human health and the environment.
  3. Farmers who wish to increase yield, to control pest and disease and improve marketability of their outputs should seek advice from agricultural stakeholders such as area agricultural officers so as to have adequate understanding of pest ecology, economic injury level, types of pesticides to control specific insect pests, use pesticides as recommended in quantities and methods of application, time lapse between last picking and spraying and take precautionary measures.
  4. Area agricultural officers as well as agrochemical manufacturers should sensitize farmers on safety precautions on mixing, spraying and disposing spoilt and expired chemicals as well as empty agrichemical containers so as to prevent endangering other persons and children.
  5. The government and agrochemical dealers should ensure that farmers access services such as seminars and on-site training so as to educate majority of farmers who have not received any training on agrochemicals usage and their effects on human health and on environment

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