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J. Env. Bio-Sci., 2014: Vol.

28 (2): 265-274 ISSN 0973-6913 (Print), ISSN 0976-3384 (On Line)

SURVEY ON AGRO-CHEMICALS USED IN MAJOR CABBAGE GROWING AREAS OF


CHIKMAGALUR, KARNATAKA
Siddartha, D, Revanna Revannavar and Suresh Lenkannavar
College of Horticulture, UHS, Bagalkot 587 103
email: sidduhort@gmail.com

Received: 18-09-2014 Accepted: 26-10-2014


Cabbage (Brassica olearaceae var. capitata) vegetables produced and consumed in India. Over the years, it has been cultivated
more intensively. This has resulted in higher rates of pest infestation, especially by the diamond back moth (Plutella xylostella) and
higher pesticide use. This, in turn, has contributed to insecticide resistance, environmental degradation, and human health impacts,
which have triggered a growing interest in alternative management techniques. There is a dearth of knowledge on current pest
management practices in cabbage. Knowledge about pest management practices is necessary to develop appropriate strategies
such as Integrated Pest Management. The main purpose of this study was to obtain comprehensive information on pest management
practices among farmers growing cabbage in Chikmagalur district, Karnataka. The survey was conducted in 10 major cabbage
growing villages of Chikmagalur district, from October 2011 to January 2012. Hundred farmers were interviewed to obtain
comprehensive information on pest management practices, socioeconomic characters among farmers growing cabbage. Cabbage
growers have practice of mixing agro-chemicals in large. On an average, farmers spray agrochemicals 8 times during the
cropping period. Farmers who have higher education and self-satisfied families are willing to adapt the recommended practices.
Cabbage growers have been using 16 insecticides, 7 fungicides and 3 plant growth regulators (PGR).

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) is being grown inappropriate timing, the wrong combination of agro-chemicals,
in an area of 3.31 lakh hectares with production of 72.81 lakh and spurious chemicals lead to insecticide resistance which
metric tonnes. Major cabbage growing states in the country causes farmers to spray even more pesticides. Development
are Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, of insecticide resistance can occur within one or two cropping
Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu1. seasons after the introduction of a new chemical7.
In 2007, cabbage accounted for 7.3% of total vegetable
Insecticide resistance, environmental degradation, human
production in India2. The crop is of considerable economic
health impacts, resource loss, and economic concerns have
importance, and is often produced under smallholder conditions.
thus triggered a growing interest in alternative management
Over the years, cabbage has been cultivated more intensively,
techniques. New technologies, such as transgenic crops, are
which has resulted in high pest infestation. Diamondback moth
starting to remediate the problem of resistance. However,
(Plutella xylostella), head caterpillar (Crocidolomia binotalis),
resistance to Bt Cry toxin by P. xylostella populations has
webworm (Hellula undalis), cabbage butterflies (Pieris
been reported in some locations8. The usefulness of new
brassicae and P. rapae), aphids (Lipaphis erysimi and
approaches will depend on the availability of strategies that
Brevicoryne brassicae) and flea beetle (Phyllotreta brassicae)
suit the needs of farmers and fit into their current crop protection
are common insect pests on vegetable brassicas in India3-4.
strategies.
Among the plethora of insect pests, diamond back moth (DBM)
is the most serious pest in India. Its preferred host plants are Knowledge of current pest management practices in cabbage
cabbage and cauliflower5. The yield loss caused by DBM varies is important to develop appropriate strategies, including dosage
from 31% to 100%6. fixation of new molecules of pesticides available in market,
different integrated pest management strategies. Surprisingly,
Farmers commonly use chemical pesticides for controlling
there is a dearth of studies that examine current farmer
insect pests because chemicals have an immediate knock-
practices in vegetable crops in India9-10. Most studies on
down effect and are easily available in the local market.
horticulture crops in India have focused on the effectiveness of
Spraying of inappropriate chemicals, excessive application,
integrated pest management practices and farmer field
Survey on Agro-chemicals Used in Major Cabbage (266)

schools11, 12&13 or on measurements of pesticide residues in indicated that higher the education level more will be the
vegetables14-15. knowledge and better will be the understanding capacity of new
technologies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Crucifer production is well established in all these villages.
Survey was done to collect information on agro-chemicals
Farmers on an average had 8 years of experience in crucifer
used along with insecticides in cabbage ecosystem of
cultivation. Average farm sizes of the farmers were 2.26 ha. On
Chikmagalur. Cabbage is luxuriantly grown vegetable in and
average, farmers allocated approximately 22 per cent or more of
around Chikmagalur. The cultivated area under cabbage during
their land to the cultivation of crucifers. Thus, crucifer production
2010-11 in Chickmagalur district was 339 hectares with the
played an important role in overall farm operations. The majority
production of 6430 metric tonnes. The productivity of the
of farmers (76%) reported growing one crucifer crop per annum.
crop is 18.97 metric tonnes/ha16. Since, Chikmagalur district
However, in some parts, a significantly higher number of farmers
is also one of the major vegetable growing regions, ten
(24%) also reported growing two crops per annum. Majority of
villages were selected randomly to explore information on
farmers (95%) grew hybrids, whereas a lower proportion of
agrochemicals used in cabbage ecosystem. Thus, the
farmers (2%) grew local varieties (Table-1). The results were
sample comprised 100 cabbage growers which included ten
similar to the findings obtained who reported crucifer production
from each village. The data generated in this study were
is well established in three states (Karnataka, West Bengal
quantitative. A pre tested questionnaire was prepared to
and Gujarat)18. Farmers from West Bengal had significantly more
collect information from selected cabbage growing farmers
experience in crucifer cultivation compared to those in Karnataka.
of Chikmagalur. There was set of questions in questionnaire
Average farm sizes were significantly smaller in West Bengal
to understand whether use of agrochemicals has been
as compared to Karnataka and Gujarat. On average, farmers
influenced by the education levels, agricultural land holdings,
allocated approximately 50 per cent or more of their land to the
knowledge of farmers to recommended agricultural practices,
cultivation of vegetables, and 40 per cent or more to the cultivation
varieties/hybrids, incidence of pests, diseases and their
of crucifers. Thus, crucifer production played an important role
management strategies. Data from the questionnaire were
in overall farm operations. The majority of farmers reported
encoded and entered into Microsoft Excel 2010
growing one crucifer crop per annum. However, in Gujarat and
spreadsheets. Data were then subjected to suitable statistical
Karnataka, a significantly higher number of farmers also reported
analysis.
growing two crops per annum. In Karnataka and Gujarat, a
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION significant majority of farmers grew hybrids, whereas in West
Bengal, a higher proportion of farmers (36%) grew local varieties.
Although the survey was designed to address male and
Farmers' perception on plant protection
female farmers, all respondents were men. This was probably
because only male enumerators could be identified in the Farmers in all the villages identified insect pests and diseases
remote areas of the survey locations. The overwhelming as major constraints to crucifer cultivation. The farmers reported
majority of respondents were farmers, with only a small that diamondback moth and blighting symptoms were the major
number reporting another income source, such as business. pest and diseases with regional differences (Table-2). In addition,
aphids and whiteflies were of some importance in cabbage
The analysis of education level of sample respondents had
production. Similarly, researchers confirmed that diamondback
the highest education level of higher secondary education
moth and mustard saw fly were the major insects and blight
(47%), whereas education levels with college/ technical
disease causing tangible yield loss17.
constituted 21 per cent. On the contrary, 7 per cent of farmers
were illiterates and 11 per cent of respondents had only The sources of information to farmers in their application of
primary education (Table-1). Similar results were obtained pesticides were very diverse. About 45 per cent of farmers get
with the literacy rate noticing majority of farmers were the information from pesticide dealers and 27 per cent of farmers
educated in the study area17. Literacy level of sample have their own experience. Whereas, about 17 per cent of farmers
respondents ranged from primary to degree. This clearly had contact with known farmers while mass media had not
(267) D, Revannavar and Lenkannavar

played an important role about information source. The mass Among organochlorines more quantity of endosulphan was
medias like extension literature, television/radio accounted for applied by farmers per hectare. It was one of the old chemical
about only 6 per cent. While hardly 5 per cent of the farmers popularly known by the cabbage growers and relatively less
got the information from the agricultural universities (Table 3). costly compared to other insecticides. Organochlorines were
Some researchers found similar findings indicating that about toxic in nature, highly persistent in the environment the effect
27.7 per cent of the respondent farmers received help from of these insecticides were observed to be manifest in the long
agricultural extension officials about the types and quantity of run, through storage in human\animal bodies as
pesticides and the rest (72.3%) obtained information from other bioconcentrations21.
sources such as experience from other farmers, television, In the present investigation of survey interpreted that on an
newspapers, input sellers, radio, etc19. A large number of farmers average eight sprays were done by the farmers. Fifty two per
relied on their own experience (26%), TV advertisement (14.1%) cent of the farmers spray pesticides at weekly interval, 39 per
and material input sellers (11.9%). Some workers reported that cent of the farmers sprayed in every second to third day i.e.,
farmers rather believed in their experiences and those of their twice in a week. Whereas, 5 and 2 per cent of farmers sprayed
neighbors for pesticide use20. at ten days and fortnightly interval (Table-3).
Cabbage growing farmers were using 26 kinds of agro-chemicals Pesticide use pattern on cabbage are in conformity with the
which included 16 insecticides, 7 fungicides and 3 plant growth results obtained by researchers from different parts of India.
regulators (Table- 4). Among the insecticides chlorantraniliprole, Some researchers recorded the highest endosulfan residues
flubendiamide, chlorpyriphos + cypermethrin (Hamla®), in cauliflower samples, among all the vegetables that had
Proton®, indoxacarb, profenofos, novaluron and buprofezin were been tested in and around Delhi21. Others reported that one
common and these belonged to chemical groups anthranilic hundred percent of cauliflower samples from Haryana were
diamide, phthalic acid diamide, organophosphorous + synthetic contaminated with chlorpyriphos and 30% of them had residue
pyrethroid, herbal Pesticide, indeno- oxadiazine, levels higher than the maximum residue limit23. The study
organophosphorus, diflubenzoylureas and thiadiazine groups conducted on examined pest management practices in four
respecticely. Among fungicides mancozeb + carbendazim important vegetable crops viz., chilli, cauliflower, brinjal and
(Saaf®), metalaxyl + mancozeb, dimethomorph were common bhendi24. On an average, fifteen times the cauliflower and brinjal
and these belong to benzimidazole + thiocarbamates, was sprayed with pesticides. Whereas, 12 and 13 times
xylylalanine + thiocarbamates and morpholine chemical groups pesticide spray applied in chilli and bhendi, respectively.
respectively. Among plant growth regulators Energy®, Education level of farmers and pesticide use practices.
Dhamaka® and Boon® were most common. Out of 100 farmers
The response from varied levels of educated farmers with
98 farmers used cocktails, and the common cocktails were
respect to practices of pesticides storage was significant
insecticide with plant growth regulator, insecticide with fungicide
( 2= 21.03). The increased level of farmer's education influenced
and insecticides with fungicide and plant growth regulators.
to follow the safer method to store pesticide. Pesticides were
Every farmer in the surveyed area had experience of using
stored in farm shed by farmers having education level of higher
various pesticides, among pesticides, insecticides were the
secondary (48.91%) and graduates (71.43%). Whereas, all
most commonly used agro-chemicals for suppressing the pests
illiterate farmers were having practice of storing pesticide in
in cabbage ecosystem. Similar type of survey was done on
their houses which is unsafe method (Table-5). Similarly, some
agro-chemicals used in major cabbage growing areas of
researchers reported that education levels have influenced
Belgaum district17. Among pesticides, the most common
farmers to follow safe methods of pesticide storage18.
insecticides were quinlophos, chlorpyriphos, monocrotophos
and endosulphan which belong to organophosphates and The response from varied levels of educated farmers with
organochlorines groups', whereas synthetic pyrethroids were respect to use of protective clothing during pesticide
comparatively less effective. Among the fungicides, the application was significant ( 2 = 26.3). During spraying, the
mancozeb was more popular than carbendazim and copper majority of the graduated farmers protected themselves more
oxychloride. by wearing aprons (57%), masks (90%) and gloves (85.71%).
Survey on Agro-chemicals Used in Major Cabbage (268)

Table-1. Socio-economic profile of cabbage growing farmers (n=100) in selected areas of Chikmagalur

Table-2. Cultivation practices followed by farmers in selected areas of Chikmagalur


(269) D, Revannavar and Lenkannavar

Table-3. Opinion of farmers on occurrence of cabbage pests in selected areas of Chikmagalur


Survey on Agro-chemicals Used in Major Cabbage (270)

Table-4. List of agro-chemicals used by cabbage growing farmers

Contid.....
(271) D, Revannavar and Lenkannavar

Table-5. Impact of farmers' education on safe use of pesticides

Contd....
Survey on Agro-chemicals Used in Major Cabbage (272)

Whereas illiterate (85.71%) and primary educated (90.91%) bare hands where they used gloves (71.43%) and sticks
farmers did not use any protective clothing during pesticide (95.24%) for mixing pesticides. Similar findings were obtained
application. The present results are in agreement with the where majority of the farmers mixed the pesticides with the
findings of other workers who reported most farmers covered help of wooden sticks17.
their faces with a piece of cloth (59%) or covered their body The chi square test to compare the influence of education of
with clothing (41%) as a protective measure while applying farmers on various activities during spraying was significant
pesticides to eggplant in West Bengal25. ( 2 = 31.34). Though, the test is significant, the rate of adopting
The response from varied levels of educated farmers with proper activities of farmers during spraying did not increase
respect to practices of mixing pesticides was significant ( 2 = with increase in education levels. However, there was slight
15.51). Majority of the illiterate (85.71%) and primary educated awareness regarding chewing tobacco among farmers having
(90.91%) farmers reported that they mixed pesticides with higher level of education. While other workers reported that
bare hands. While none of the graduated farmer mixed with only 7.5 per cent of farmers under take chewing tobacco and
(273) D, Revannavar and Lenkannavar

3.3 per cent smoking activity while pesticide application21. (verified May 2009). http://apps.fao.org/page/
collections?subset=agriculture.
There was a significant association between the level of farmers'
education and the number of farmers who had experienced 3. Chaudhuri, N., Ghosh, S., Ghosh, J., Senapati, S.K.
health problems ( 2 =9.49) and were hospitalized ( 2 =9.49). (2001). Ind. J. Ento. 63: 421.
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contradictory to the results of various workers who reported
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that majority of the farmers (60%) suffered from health problems
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Overall, the level of education significantly influenced what
1.
farmers suggested to promote safe pesticide use ( 2 =21.03).
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Those who had secondary education (or higher) provided more
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responses and suggested to avoid wind and to use proper
protective clothing. In correspondence to this the study 11. Gururaj, K., Pasalu, I.C., Rao, P.R.M., Varma, N.R.G.,
conducted by other workers reported that 8 per cent of farmers Krishnaiah, K., Escalada, M.M. and Heong, K.L. (2004).
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A large number of farmers-76 per cent of all cabbage farmers 13. Venkatesh Gandhi, R., Hanchinal, S.N., Shivamurthy, M.
harvested the crop after one to two days or earlier after spraying. and Hittalmani, S.(2008). Jour. Agr. Sci. 21: 17.
About 13 per cent and 11 per cent of all farmers harvested at 14. Bhanti, M. and Taneja, A. (2007). Chemosphere, 69: 63.
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farmers let pass between last spraying and harvest was 10
16. Anonymous (2011). Horticultural Crop Statistics of
days for cabbage and 7 days for cauliflower17. The median
Karnataka State At A a Glance.
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