A Cross-Sectional Survey on the Awareness of Pesticide Labels and Pesticide Safety Pictograms among Paddy Farming In South India

vijay kautilya, shruti Prabhat Hegde, Prithika Chendrashekaran, Khatija begum


Background: Hazardous pesticides continue to be used in the
farming industry purely because of economic reasons. Farmers
need to understand this risk. Pesticide labels and pictograms were
enforced to propagate this risk information to the farmers in a
simple way. However, their effectiveness has not been evaluated in
India. This study attempts to evaluate the efficacy of these labels
and pictograms to help farmers understand the pesticide risks.
Methods: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey was
conducted among 172 paddy farmers in Kancheepuram district
of Tamil-Nadu, India. Their interpretation of four pesticide
labels and fifteen pesticide safety pictograms were analyzed
using (SPSS version 20) for descriptive statistics. Chi-square
test was used for dichotomic variables. A p value of < 0.05 was
considered significant.
Results: Of the 172 farmers interviewed, 93% were unaware
of the pesticide regulations and 72.6% had never attempted to
read the labels. Only, the red color in the label was identified
correctly by 66.1% of farmers. Four out of fifteen pictograms
were interpreted correctly by more than 60% of the farmers.
Educational status had a significant influence on the way the
labels and pictograms were interpreted.
Conclusion: We need to consider restructuring these labels in
a more scientific way. Instead of a top-down approach, we need
to start working at the grass root level if we tend to have better
appreciated labels. It is recommended that plans and strategies
should be devised to educate the farmers about the labels and


Pictograms, Pesticide Labels, farmer's interpretation, educational status.

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