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Pesticide diversity at agrodealers for the management of fall armyworm in Kenya

Pesticide use in the management of fall armyworm in Kenya has been on a gradual increase, as farmers seek coping mechanisms to protect their maize crops from this invasive pest. The pesticides usually reach the end users through an input delivery system, where ‘agrodealers’ are key players in the chain. Reaching even the most remote corners of the country, local agrodealer networks serve as the primary conduits for pesticides, and are intended to serve as hubs for information to farmers about safe use.

CABI is conducting a study to unravel the type of pesticides sold by agrodealers for fall armyworm management in Kenya, including active ingredients, application rates and their toxicity and hazard profiles. We have so far interviewed 1300 registered agrodealers in 44 counties of Kenya, and complemented this with a household survey to understand which pesticides farmers use for the management of fall armyworm.

Preliminary results show that the four most commonly sold active ingredients for fall armyworm management are alpha-cypermethrin, lufenuron, chlorantraniliprole + abamectin and flubendiamide. The farmer surveys suggest that 18.5% use alpha-cypermethrin, which corresponds to our data for the agrodealer sales for this active ingredient. At least six of the active ingredients are known to have potential effects on neurotoxicity, and three of them could cause endocrine and reproduction toxicity. Five of the active ingredients are known to have at least two potential health effects. This study will elucidate the role that agrodealers can play in enhancing access and use of lower risk products for the control of this pest among the farming communities that they serve.

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