Farmers’ Knowledge on Agrochemicals and Their Use: A Case Study from Tsirang Dzongkhag, Bhutan

Authors: Namgyal, Birkha Bahadur Tamang & Kinley

ABSTRACT

This paper is based on the case study on agrochemical knowledge and its usage by farmers of Tsirang Dzongkhag. The data was collected from 205 households out of 5063 through semi-structured questionnaire, informal group discussions and secondary information. Bhutan imported more than 12000 Mt of agrochemicals worth over Nu. 6000 million between 2014 to 2017. These agrochemicals were imported from seven countries with almost 100% import from India. More than 20 different types of agrochemicals were supplied to the farmers. The study found that 49.26% of the respondents used one or other form of agrochemicals in 2017. In the last three years 71.04 Mt (0.54%) of agrochemicals were supplied to Tsirang dzongkhag. Among the agrochemicals supplied, fertilizers (70.58 Mt) dominated the supply followed by insecticides (0.25 Mt). The least supplied was rodenticide (0.007 Mt). Per hectare application rate of agrochemicals in 2017 was recorded at 0.0048 kg/ha which was comparatively very low than in other countries. Consumers generally associate farm produces from Tsirang as natural and have gained market popularity.  Therefore, to uphold the consumers’ health and market niche the use of agrochemicals need to be reduced from the present scenario.

Keywords: Agrochemicals, Natural, Safety, Import, supply, Produce, Quality

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