|Initial Environmental Assessment: Plant Protection - Series no 13 (NORAD, 1995)|
|Part I: General account|
|1 Characteristics of plant protection projects|
Pesticides come in bags, tins, bottles or cans, in the form of powder, granulate or liquid. Commercial products of pesticides can have different pesticide concentrations in different formulae and compounds, depending on the intended area of use.
Transport: Pesticides are often transported by vans, lorries etc. which are also used for the transport of cereal products, farm animals or nutrients. This requires thorough cleaning of the storage area after use to remove all traces of the pesticide.
Storing the pesticide: Pesticides are usually bought in a highly concentrated form, and they can therefore be very poisonous. For this reason, they should always be stored in a secure and lockable storage space with strictly controlled access.
Dilution and piling up: The commercial product can in some cases be used directly for dusting or fumigation, but usually the product must be diluted and sprayed. When diluting the pesticide or filling the diluted liquid into the spraying receptacle, large quantities of the pesticide can spill out. It is therefore of utmost importance that the user has good equipment, solid routines and access to a well suited area for diluting the pesticide and filling it into the receptacle.
Spraying the pesticide: The spraying equipment can be hand sprayers, knapsack sprayers, tractor sprayers and sprayers on aeroplanes or helicopters. The latter entail the greatest risk for spraying areas which do not require treatment. Pesticides can also be added to the irrigation water or the water sources. It is important that the spraying equipment and spraying routines are satisfactory to ensure that the pesticide is used in correct quantities and only in the desired areas. Incorrectly adjusted spraying equipment can easily result in overdosage.
Systematic control and supervision of the treated area can be an important step in reducing the need for pesticide spraying. It will then be easier to discover diseases and instigate measures against diseases or insect pests at an earlier stage and thus reduce losses and the need for spraying.
Pesticide wastes and cleaning the spraying equipment can cause acute pollution. Secure routines for handling pesticide wastes are essential. The agricultural methods can affect the use of pesticides. Balanced fertilisation and rotation of crops can reduce the frequency and extent of diseases. If, however, there is one-sided use of for example nitrogen fertilisers, or if the same crop is cultivated year after year, the need for pesticides may increase.
The conditions in each developing country must be taken into account when using pesticides. One must consider whether only specially trained personnel should be given the responsibility and control of the pesticides, or whether they can be handled by the local population. Furthermore, one must check whether there exists a pesticide control agency in the country. In cases where the farmer carries out the pesticide spraying himself, it is necessary to consider the availability of different kinds of spraying equipment and protective equipment before selecting the pesticide.