Weak Governmental Institutions Impair the Management of Pesticide Import and Sales in Zanzibar
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Poor pesticide handling practices and risk-awareness among African farmers puts human health and the environment at risk. To investigate information available to farmers in Zanzibar (Tanzania), an interview study was conducted with retailers, and governmental pesticide importation to Zanzibar was examined. Pesticide retailers in Zanzibar did not have the necessary knowledge to safely handle or to advise farmers on proper use of pesticides. Licensed shop owners were rarely found in the shops; instead, untrained personnel were employed to sell the pesticides. Implementation of the legislation was weak, mainly due to lack of surveillance by governmental institutions. Poor governmental importation practices and unregulated private imports indicate serious weakness in the management of pesticide importation in Zanzibar. The situation calls for increased attention on the monitoring of pesticide importation and sales to protect the health of farmers and retailers, as well as the environment.
KeywordsTanzania Legislation Interview study Pesticide retailer
The authors would like to thank Anders Sjögren for valuable discussions and input and Nils Kautsky, Ben Jaeschke and two anonymous reviewers for important comments on the manuscript. Rose Mwaipopo, Vera Ngowi, and Dorah Swai contributed with helpful advice and information. The translator Said Juma Shaaban alongside Aisha Dallu and Rajab Kiravu and our colleague Göran Samuelsson made the study possible to perform in the field. The authors are grateful to the Institute of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to all the respondents for sharing their time with us. The study was financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
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