Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 19, pp 18966–18987 | Cite as

Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables in Ghana: a review

  • Augustine DonkorEmail author
  • Paul Osei-Fosu
  • Brajesh Dubey
  • Robert Kingsford-Adaboh
  • Cephas Ziwu
  • Isaac Asante
Review Article


Pesticides are known to improve agriculture yield considerably leading to an increase in its application over the years. The use of pesticides has shown varying detrimental effects in humans as well as the environment. Presently, enough evidence is available to suggest their misuse and overuse in the last few decades in most developing nations primarily due to lack of education, endangering the lives of farmers as well as the entire population and environment. However, there is paucity of data especially over long durations in Ghana resulting in the absence of effective monitoring programs regarding pesticide application and subsequent contamination in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, this review discusses comprehensively pesticide type and use, importation, presence in fruits and vegetables, human exposure, and poisoning in Ghana. This is to alert the scientific community in Ghana of the need to further research into the potential implications of pesticide residues in food commodities in order to generate a comprehensive and reliable database which is key in drafting policies simultaneous with food regulation, suitable monitoring initiatives, assessment, and education to minimize their effects thereon.


Pesticides Monitoring Human exposure Poisoning Fruits and vegetables Ghana 

Supplementary material

11356_2016_7317_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 20 kb)


  1. Aboagye E (2002) Patterns of pesticide use and residue levels in exportable pineapple (Ananas cosmosus L. Merr). Thesis, University of GhanaGoogle Scholar
  2. Abutiate WS (1991) Guide to the commercial production of pineapple, papaya and mango in Ghana. National Consultant GHA/87/004. Accra.Google Scholar
  3. Adetola E., Ataki J. K., Atidepe E. Osei D. K. and Akosa A. B. (1999). Pesticide poisoning—a nine year study (1989–1997), Department of Pathology, University of Ghana Medical School and Ghana Standards Board-Accra.Google Scholar
  4. Akoto O, Andoh H, Darko G, et al. (2013) Health risk assessment of pesticides residue in maize and cowpea from Ejura, Ghana. Chemosphere 92(1):67–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amoah P, Drechsel P, Abaidoo RC, Ntow WJ (2006) Pesticide and pathogen contamination of vegetables in Ghana’s urban markets. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 50(1):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Armah FA (2011) Assessment of pesticide residues in vegetables at the farm gate: cabbage (Brassica oleracea) cultivation in cape coast. Ghana Res J Environ Toxicol 5:180–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Asare JYA (2012) Levels of pesticide residues in some non-traditional cash crops in Ghana and their health implications. Thesis, University of GhanaGoogle Scholar
  8. Awumbila B, Bokuma E (1994) Survey of pesticides used in the control of ectoparasites of farm animals in Ghana. Trop Anim Health Prod 26(1):7–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bempah CK, Asomaning J, Ansong DA, Boateng J, Boahen AS (2012b) Contamination levels of selected organochlorine and organophosphorous pesticides in Ghanaian fruits and vegetables. Emir J Food Agric 24(4):293–301Google Scholar
  10. Bempah CK, Asomaning J, Boateng J (2012a) Market basket survey for some pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables from Ghana. J Microb Biotech Food Sci 2(3):850–871Google Scholar
  11. Bempah CK, Buah-Kwofie A, Denutsui D, Asomaning J, Osei Tutu A (2011a) Monitoring of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables and related health risk assessment in Kumasi metropolis. Ghana Res J Environ Earth Sci 3(6):761–771Google Scholar
  12. Bempah CK, Donkor AK (2011) Pesticide residues in fruits at the market level in Accra Metropolis, Ghana, a preliminary study. Environ Monit Assess 175:551–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bempah CK, Donkor AK, Yeboah PO, Dubey B, Osei-Fosu P (2011b) A preliminary assessment of consumer’s exposure to organochlorine pesticides in fruits and vegetables and the potential health risk in Accra Metropolis. Ghana Food Chem 128:1058–1065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Berrada H, Fernández M, Ruiz MJ, Moltó JC, Mañes J, Font G (2010) Surveillance of pesticide residues in fruits from Valencia during twenty months (2004/05). Food Control 21:36–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bonzongo JC, Donkor AK, Nartey VK, Lacerda LD (2004). Mercury pollution in Ghana: a case study of environmental impacts of artisanal gold mining in sub-Saharan Africa. Lacerda LD, Santelli RE Facets of Environmental Geochemistry in Tropical and Sub-tropical Environments Springer Verlag Berlin 135 153Google Scholar
  16. Botchway F (2000). Analysis of pesticide residues in Ghana’s exportable cocoa. Dissertation, Institute of Science and Technology London, UK.Google Scholar
  17. Botwe BO, Kelderman P, Drechsel P, Carboo D, Nartey VK, Gijzen HJ (2011) Pesticide residues contamination of vegetables and their public health implications in. Ghana Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries 3(2–3):10–18Google Scholar
  18. Carvalho FP (2006) Agriculture, pesticides, food security and food safety. Environ Sci Pol 9:685–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chen C, Qian Y, Chen Q, Tao C, Li C, Li Y (2011) Evaluation of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables from Xiamen, China. Food Control 22:1114–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Claeys WL, Schmit JF, Bragard C, Maghuin-Rogister G, Pussemier L, Schiffers B (2011) Exposure of several Belgian consumer groups to pesticide residues through fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. Food Control 22:508–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Clarke EEK, Levy LS, Spurgeon A, Calvert IA (1997) The problems associated with pesticide use by irrigation workers in Ghana. Occup Med 5:301–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cudjoe AR, Kyofa-Boamah M, Braun M (2002) Handbook of crop protection recommended in Ghana. An IPM Approach. Vol.4: Selected fruit crops (mango, papaya and pineapple). Ministry of Food and Agriculture/Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate/GTZ. Accra-Ghana. pp 60–63Google Scholar
  23. Darko G, Akoto O (2008) Dietary intake of organophosphorus pesticide residues through vegetables from Kumasi. Ghana Food ChemToxicol 46:3703–3706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dinham B (2003) Growing vegetables in developing countries for local urban populations and export markets: problems confronting small-scale producers. Pest Manag Sci 59:575–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ecobichon DJ (2001) Pesticide use in developing countries. Toxicology 160:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. EPA (2011) Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage Report, 2006 and 2007 market estimates Accessed 23 January 2015
  27. EPA, Ghana (2013). Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana –Revised Register forPesticides as at December 31st 2013Google Scholar
  28. Essumang DK, Dodoo DK, Adokoh CK, Fumador EA (2008) Analysis of some pesticide residues in tomatoes in Ghana. Hum. Ecol. Risk assess. An International Journal 14(4):796–806Google Scholar
  29. FAOSTAT, (Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations Statistical Database) (2015) Accessed 3 April 2015
  30. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (2002) FAO/WHO global forum of food safety regulators. Marrakech, Morocco Marrakech, Morocco, 28–30 January 2002 Country Report proposed by Iran. http://www. Agenda Item 4.2 a, GF/CRD Iran-1. Accessed 7 April 2016
  31. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2002) International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides. Retrieved on 2007–10-25
  32. Gerken A, Suglo JV, Braun M (2001) Crop protection policy in Ghana. Integrated Crop Protection/Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate/GTZ Pokuase-Accra, p. 185Google Scholar
  33. Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain) Report, (2012). Lists/Advanced%20Search/AllItems.aspx. Accessed 10 January 2015
  34. Hardy J (1995) Apolipoprotein E in the genetics and epidemiology of Alzheimer’s diseases: vascular risk and beta-amyloid metabolism. Am J Med Gene 9:456–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hjorth K, Johansen K, Holen B, Andersson A, Christensen HB, Siivinen K, et al. (2011) Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables from South America. A Nordic project. Food Control 22:1701–1706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. International Food Policy Research Institute, (2004) Patterns and determinants of fruit and vegetables consumption in sub-Saharan Africa: a multicountry comparisonGoogle Scholar
  37. Knezevic Z, Serdar M, Ahel M (2012) Risk assessment of the intake of pesticides in Croatian diet. Food Control 23:59–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kotey DA, Gbewonyo WSK, Afreh-Nuamah K (2008) High chlorpyrifos levels on vegetables in Ghana. Pesticide News No.80Google Scholar
  39. Kyofa-Boamah M, Blay E (2000) A study on pineapple production and protection procedure in Ghana. Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate. Accra, Ghana. pp 23Google Scholar
  40. Lozowicka B, Kaczynski P, Rutkowska W, Jankowska M, Hrynko I (2013) Evaluation of pesticide residues in fruit from Poland and health risk assessment. Agric Sci 4(5B):106–111Google Scholar
  41. Mansour SA (2004) Pesticide exposure-Egyptian scene. Toxicology 198:91–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mawuenyegah GK (1994) The life and toxicity of insecticide residues applied to cabbage in the farm. Dissertation, University of GhanaGoogle Scholar
  43. Metcalf RL (1975) Insecticide pest management. In: Metcalf RL, Luckmann WH (eds) Introduction to insect pest management. John Wiley and Sons, New York, London, Sydney, Toronto, pp. 235–277Google Scholar
  44. Ministry of Agriculture (1990). Medium Term Agriculture Development Programme (MTADP). An agenda for sustained agricultural growth and development (1991–2000). Ministry of Agriculture, AccraGoogle Scholar
  45. Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2010) Government of Ghana: Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP), 2011–2015.Google Scholar
  46. Newsom LD, Smith RF, Whitcom WH (1976) Selective pesticides and selective use of pesticides. In: Huffaker CB, Messenger PS (eds) Theory and practice of biological control. Academic Press, New York, pp. 565–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ninsin KD (1997) Insecticide use pattern and residue levels on cabbage Brassica alerecea var capitata L. cultivated within the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area of Ghana. Thesis, University of GhanaGoogle Scholar
  48. Northern Presbyterian Agricultural Services and Partners (NPAS) (2012) Ghana’s pesticide crisis—the need for further government actionGoogle Scholar
  49. Ntow WJ (1998) Pesticide misuse at Akumadan to be tackled. NARP Newslett 3:3Google Scholar
  50. Ntow WJ (2001) Organochlorine pesticides in water, sediment, crops and human fluid in a farming Community in Ghana. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 40(4):557–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ntow WJ (2005) Pesticide residues in Volta Lake, Ghana. Lakes and Reservoirs: Res. Manage. 243–248.Google Scholar
  52. Ntow WJ, Gijzen HJ, Drechsel P (2006) Farmer perceptions and pesticide use practices in vegetable production in Ghana. Pest Manag Sci 62(4):356–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ntow WJ, Tagoe LM, Drechsel P, Kelderman P, Gijzen HJ and Nyarko E (2008).Accumulation of persistent organochlorine contaminants in milk and serum of farmersfrom Ghana. Environ Res 106:17–26Google Scholar
  54. Osafo S and Frempong E (1998). Lindane and endosulfan residues in water and fish in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Journal Ghana Science Association 1:135–140Google Scholar
  55. Osei Tutu A, Yeboah PO, Golow AA, Denutsui D, Blankson-Arthur S (2011) Organochlorine pesticides residues in the breast milk of some Primiparae mothers in La Community, Accra, Ghana, res. J Environ Earth Sci 3(2):153–159Google Scholar
  56. Osei-Atweneboana MY, Wilson MD, Post RJ, Boakye DA (2001) Temephos-resistant larva of Simulium sanctipauli associated with a distinctive new chromosome inversion in untreated rivers of south-western Ghana. Med Vert Entomol 15(1):113–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sharma MM, Ali DJ, Batra A (2010) Plant regeneration through in vitro somatic embryogenesis in Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera L. Dunal). Researcher 2(3):1–6Google Scholar
  58. SRID (2008) Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Agriculture in Ghana. Facts and Figures Statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID), AccraGoogle Scholar
  59. Suglo JV, Pwamang JA (2012) FAO/SFW Pesticides Management Initiative. National capacity for pesticide management in selected west African countries, Country report, GhanaGoogle Scholar
  60. The WHO Recommended classification of pesticides by hazard and guidelines to classification, 2009Google Scholar
  61. U.S. EPA. Exposure assessment handbook, (1989) United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Health and Environmental assessment. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  62. U.S. EPA. Integrated risk information system, (1996) United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Health and Environmental assessment. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Augustine Donkor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Osei-Fosu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brajesh Dubey
    • 3
  • Robert Kingsford-Adaboh
    • 1
  • Cephas Ziwu
    • 1
  • Isaac Asante
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana
  2. 2.Pesticide Residue LaboratoryGhana Standards AuthorityAccraGhana
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ManagementIndian Institute TechnologyKharagpurIndia
  4. 4.Department of BotanyUniversity of GhanaLegon-AccraGhana

Personalised recommendations