Pesticide Use in Indian Cardamom Hills: Factors, Patterns and Intensity

Pesticide Use in Indian Cardamom Hills: Factors, Patterns and Intensity

M. Murugan (Cardamom Research Station, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, India), P. K. Shetty (National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India), Thomas George (College of Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, Thiruvananthapuram, India), R. Ravi (Materials Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India), A. Subbiah (Horticulture College and Research Institute (TNAU), Periyakulam, India) and K. Vijayakumar (School of Environmental Sciences, Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/ijsesd.2014070106
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Surveys and analyses among cardamom and tea planters were carried out in and around cardamom hill reserves during 2009-2012 to quantify the annual pesticide consumption of cardamom and tea. The survey revealed that cardamom had consumed 26.59 kg a.i ha-1 in comparison with tea (8.70kg a.i ha-1). Pesticide intensity of cardamom (0.0322 kg kg-1) was higher than tea (0.0046 kg kg-1). Risk weighed active ingredients values were 3.326 and 0.029 kg ha-1 for cardamom and tea respectively. The pesticide use intensity in major cardamom growing areas of the CHR has experienced significant increase from 2002 and 2003. It was 7.10 kg a.i ha-1 in the year 2002 and decreased slightly to 5.42 kg a.i ha-1 for the year 2003. The number of pesticide sprays has been increased during the last two years (2011-2012). Pesticide residues in soils of all three cardamom growing hot spots were high. Hospital data of these cardamom hot spot regions showed higher levels of pesticide poisonings particularly for organophosphorous compounds. Therefore, the analysis and results reported here on pesticide consumption by cardamom and tea must be taken seriously to safeguard the degraded rainforest cardamom agroforestry system.
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