Survey by mango growers in Phitsanulok

(November 2002)

In Noenmaprong village (Phitsanulok province), a group of 11 mango growers were trained to conduct cross-sectional survey. These trained farmers observed and interviewed 20 other mango farmers in their community. Then they met several times to analyze the results, which are presented below.

Analysis of pesticides used

Among the 20 farmers 17 different pesticides were being used, including 4 chemicals belonging to WHO classes Ia and Ib. The list included 1 chemical that is banned in Thailand (Monocrotophos), and 2 chemicals that are currently registered but on the “watch list”. The use of these dangerous chemicals was quite common, with 5% of the farmers using chemicals belonging to class Ia and 95% using chemicals classified as Ib.

Table pesticide use
Highly toxic pesticides such as Methamidophos are popular among Mango growers.

Farmers observe spray session
Farmers observe and take notes on spraying practices of other farmers.

Farmers observe spray session
Farmers interview each other before and after spraying sessions.

Observe farmer mixing
Observing how a farmer is preparing for a spraying session.

Farmer exposed to pesticide
Farmers observed how pesticide from the tank spilled over the back of the spraying farmer. The pesticide used was Methamidophos (WHO class Ib).

Table Toxic classes used
Almost all Mango growers used very toxic chemicals in WHO classes Ia and Ib.

Spraying behavior observed
Result of observations on spraying behavior

Analysis of the volume and frequency of pesticide use

When the farmers analyzed the amounts used they found that 20 farmers together use 541,984 liter of spray solution each year, which is an average of 28,525 liter per farmer. The days that they are at risk to chemical exposure was on average 22.1 days per year (lowest 10 days, highest 40 days).

Table volume sprayed
Mango growers spray more than 28,000 liters of pesticide solutions each year.

Observations of pesticide storage and disposal of containers

Data of 15 farmers were summarized and it was found that only 2 of them (13%) had stored their pesticides in a proper way. In most cases, the chemicals were stored in the homes of the farmers and were not put behind lock.

Empty containers were not disposed off in a safe way as they were either left at farmers’ homes or they were just left behind in the mango orchard.

Farmers analyze data
Farmers are analyzing the data they collected.

Disposal containers
A “normal” way to dispose of empty containers is just dropping them in a corner of the field. A serious risk for children, animals and the environment.

Signs and symptoms

Farmers made observations before and after a spraying session and listed the signs and symptoms on body maps. During their analysis they then summarized these observations in a table.

Body map
Body maps are used to note down the observations.

Head map pesticide
Head map showing locations of pesticide poisoning

Table signs symptoms
Observed signs and symptoms of poisoning

See also:

Survey by vegetable growers Kanchanaburi