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DOI: 10.5276/JSWTM.2016.




U. Ibrahim
Department of Agronomy,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

A.A. Mukhtar
Department of Agronomy, Institute for Agricultural Research
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

F.B. Ibrahim
Department of Water Resources & Environmental Engineering,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

S.W.J. Lyocks
College of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Colleges,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Nigeria


The fast growing demand in agricultural produce and increasing utilization of pesticides on
farmlands has introduced management problems of used pesticides containers in Nigeria. This
study was carried out to assess disposal and management options for used pesticide
containers from farm lands in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study also quantified the amount of
pesticide containers generated in the area and proposed appropriate disposal methods of these
pesticide containers in order to promote agricultural development and keep the environment
clean and safe. It was also estimated that by the year 2022 the quantity of used pesticides
containers used in the state would be up to 9 million containers. The study also revealed
problems faced by the farmers and suggested ways by which used pesticide containers can be
effectively managed in Nigeria.

Keywords: Pesticide containers, farmlands, disposal, Management, Nigeria

INTRODUCTION Environmental pollution arising from pesticide use in

agriculture is becoming of great concern especially with
Pesticide application has become an important component continuous increase in farming and use of pesticides.
of crop production in order to ensure profitable return from Improper disposal of pesticide containers is a major problem
the massive agricultural investment. There are inherent which could lead to environmental pollution (Ibrahim et al.,
dangers associated with the improper use of these pesticides. 2011).

Pesticides are classified according to the type of pests they educational materials to help with programme establishment,
control and under these classification schemes, the most provide contractor for granulating and transporting container
widely used are Insecticides, Fungicides, Herbicides and from site or farm to the recycler and also research and
Rodenticides (Mordi, 2011). Pesticides, though meant to approve end use product. Currently in the U.S.A. 48 states
harm target pest can also harm humans and the environment have pesticide container recycling programmes and this
if not used correctly. Humans get exposed to pesticide number is expected to grow and reach every part of the
poisoning through inhalation, oral ingestion or dermal country. In 2004, 7.9 Million pounds of containers were
exposure. Organophosphate pesticides for instance has been recycled and collected through the Agricultural Container
found to cause organophosphate toxicity among agricultural, Recycling Council.
industrial and pest control workers in the United States (Jaga In Nigeria, a similar strategy may be adopted for
and Dharmani, 2003). collection and recycling of pesticide containers. However,
Disposal of pesticide packaging materials in Nigeria has farm inputs like fertilizer may need to be given as incentives
been grossly abused due to lack of proper enlightenment on for effective collection of the containers from the farmers.
environmental hazard associated with improper disposal of Pesticides marketing companies may also be tasked with the
the pesticide containers. The farmers usually dispose the responsibility of retrieving all containers of pesticides they
container of these pesticides in a wrong way without supply. Downstream market such as plastic recyclers for the
following the precautionary measures, which could lead to pesticide containers can be sought and supplied with the
environmental pollution. Majority of farmers have discovered collected containers.
that pesticide containers are made of good quality plastic The fast growing demand in agricultural produce as well
material hence scavenge them and use them as water as increasing utilization of pesticides on farmlands has
containers or put them to other uses. This unfortunate practice introduced the problem of management of used pesticides
has led to accidental pesticide poisoning among some of the containers in Nigeria and most other developing countries as
farmers (Anonymous, 2010). there are no existing recycling programmes. Therefore, there
The disposal of un-used pesticides and its containers is a is the need to quantify the amount of pesticide containers
problem in most countries of the world. It is even of greater generated from farmlands with a view to designing
concern in developing countries because of lack of proper appropriate disposal strategies for these pesticide containers
solid waste management structure in place. Also, very little is so that the appropriate agencies may take necessary actions in
known about the hazard posed by the improper disposal of order to promote agricultural development, generate
used pesticides package material, moreover, people have not employment/income and keep the environment clean and
been incited on the idea that the used pesticide container can safe.
be recycled there by generating employment opportunity and
raw material for plastic industries.
Proper disposal procedure is essential in the safe use of METHODOLOGY
herbicide and it containers (Freed, 1983). The occurrence of
surplus pesticide and its containers can be attributed to over
estimation of the immediate need of the country, delay in Study area
pesticide shipment, drought, personnel changes, deterioration
of the container during storage resulting in leaks and seepage, Kaduna State is the successor to the old Northern Region
breakdown in application equipment and changes in of Nigeria, which had its capital at Kaduna. In 1967 this was
agricultural policies that affect production of a particular crop split up into six states, one of which was the North-Central
for which the pesticide and kits container has been imported. State, whose name was changed to Kaduna State in 1976.
These surpluses are usually disposed of in streams, rivers or This was further divided in 1987, losing part of its area to
lakes leading to gross environmental pollution. Pesticide- Katsina State. Agriculture accounts for an estimated 56 % of
contaminated water poses a hazard to non-target organisms Kaduna’s GDP and employs approximately 4 million people.
such as plants, beneficial insects, fish and other aquatic life. Kaduna produces 22 % of the country’s maize, 69 % of soya
Studies have shown that pesticides disposal by incineration is bean, 36 % of cotton and 10 % of ground nuts (peanuts) and
a good way to dispose pesticide and it containers (Kennedy, the state trades agricultural produce to neighboring states.
et al., 1969), but this is applicable only when appropriate The sector is dominated by wet season planting and an
facilities exist. A temperature of 900-1200oC is needed to be irrigated dry season planting. Most farmers currently produce
maintained in an incinerator to ensure that the pesticides and cereal crops such as maize, sorghum, millet and rice during
its containers are decomposed to simple inorganic molecules the rainy season. Cereal crops are exported to surrounding
such as carbon-dioxide and water. The practice of burning states and are an important source of cash. Kaduna is one of
pesticides and its containers in open fires does not produce the largest producers of rice in Nigeria and it exports
enough heat to decompose the pesticide and it container. substantial quantities to other Nigerian states and other
Instead the pesticide is liable to be vaporized and then drift neighboring African countries. The state is also an important
and contaminate other sites. producer of fruits and vegetables.
In developed countries, the agricultural chemical Kaduna state is divided into 4 agricultural zones namely;
companies have organized to form the Agricultural Container Maigana, Samaru-Kataf, Birnin-Gwari and Lere Zones.
Recycling Council (ACRC). These groups distribute According to the current village listing survey, Kaduna State

has about 606,007 farming families; majority of who are area. This was done by using the data obtained from the
benefitting from the intervention efforts of the Agricultural National Bureau of Statistics- Agricultural Survey Report
Programs of the State Government through KADP. The total (2007) which gave the number of crop farmers in the state
population of Kaduna state was estimated at 6,113,503 while from 2002-2006, and this was extrapolated to 2025 assuming
the total number of farmers was estimated at 1,293,000 an annual increase of 0.916%. The analytical tools used for
(NBS- Agricultural Survey Report, 2007). the study were the descriptive statistics such as mean, range,
percentage, frequency distribution and the results were
Sampling techniques, data collection and presented in tables and charts.

The instruments used for collecting primary data were RESULT AND DISCUSSION
design questionnaire and personal interview. A simple
random sampling technique was used in the selection of the Socio- Economic Characteristics and
sample for this study. A total of 400 farmers were selected, Technical Knowledge of Farmers in the
100 farmers from each of the zones. Some farmers were Study Area
interviewed verbally due to their low literacy level. The
secondary data source included text books, journals and the
internet. The quantity of pesticides used in the study area was The socio-economic characteristics of the farmers (Table
obtained by estimating the total number of crop farmers in the 1) show that youths below the age of 20 years do not actively

Socio- Economic Characteristic of Farmers in the Study Area

Characteristic Category Respondents

in the/ sample
(%, n = 400)

Age (years) ≤ 20 10.0

21-50 54.0
51-70 27.0
>70 9.0
Gender Male 81.2
Female 11.8
Education Primary Certificate 40.09
Secondary Certificate BSC, HND, NCE and Diploma 14.67
Qur’anic School 17.86
Adult School 9.52
Farm size < 1 Hectare 58.33
2 – 5 Hectares 16.67
˃ 5 Hectares 25
Farming Experience(years) 1- 10 Years 32.53
11 – 20 Years 34.94
21 – 30 Years 21.69
31 – 40 Years 10.84
Annual Income < ₦50, 000 ($315) 6.02
₦50,000-₦100,000 56.63
> ₦100, 000 ($630) 37.35
Type of crops cultivated Cereals 68.29
Legumes 13.41
Roots and Tubers 18.29

that farming activities in the study area are likely to be
sustainable because the farmers in this age group are likely to
live for many more years.
The study also showed that over 81% of the farmers were
males, however in Zangon-Kataf, quite a number of women
were farm owners. However, throughout the study area,
women were seen working on the farms as hired laborers.
The farm sizes of most of the farmers as shown from the
study (Table 1) is less that 1 hectare which infers that
majority of the farmers practice small scale farming and this
explains why the annual income of 56.63% of the farmers
was between ₦50,000 to ₦100,000 ($315-$630). The study
also revealed that the farmers have varying years of
experience in the farming profession and the prominent type
of crop cultivated is cereals.
All the farmers in the study area had one form of
education or the other but majority of them (40.09%) had
only primary school certificate. Also most of the farmers
FIGURE 1 indicated that they had knowledge of the dangers associated
Map of Nigeria showing Kaduna State with improper disposal of used pesticide containers and have
received trainings on pesticide use and management. Proper
disposal methods are not in place for them to put into practice
participate in farming in the study area. Rather, many of them the knowledge they have acquired from the trainings.
prefer to engage in other forms of jobs such as commercial However, despite the awareness which they claim to have,
motorcycling, selling of fuel (black market) while others most of the farmers dispose their used pesticide containers by
attend school and at the same time engage in other jobs as a burning them while others re-use or bury them as shown in
means of sustenance. Majority of the farmers (54%) were Figure 2. This situation suggests that that the training that the
within the age bracket of 21-50 years old and this suggests farmers receive is either not adequate or the facilities for

Technical knowledge of farmers on Proper use of Pesticides

Information sought Response Respondents

in sample
(%, n = 400)

Knowledge of dangers associated with improper Yes 77.38

disposal of used pesticide containers.
No 22.62
Training on Pesticide Use and Management. Yes 82.5

No 17.5
Source of Training. Ministry of Agriculture 25.93
Company 22.22
Distributor 51.85
Knowledge of Precautionary Sign Attached to Yes 61.45
Pesticide Container.
No 38.55
Type of packaging of pesticides used Plastic 81.82
Aluminium 9.1
Polythene and foil 2.59
Other 6.49
Quantity of pesticides(bottles) used per planting 1-6 68.0
season 7-10 12.0
Above 10 20.0

Report, 2007) was used to obtain an average annual increase
of 0.916% in the population of crop farmers from which an
extrapolation was made from 2007-2022. This decrease in
population of crops farmers can be attributed to the drift in
occupational activities from farming to other types of
The quantities of pesticide containers to be generated
were also obtained by using an average of six (6) pesticide
containers per farmer (as obtained from information gathered
from the questionnaires). From these values, the quantity of
pesticide containers burnt, re-used and buried were estimated
using the percentages for burning, re-use and burying as
obtained from the questionnaires respectively.
Method of Disposal of used pesticide containers SWOT Analysis of Management of Used
Pesticides Containers in Kaduna State
them to implement the trainings they have acquired is not The study analyzed the strengths, weaknesses,
available. opportunities and threats of the current methods of used
pesticides containers management in the study area and these
Estimation of quantity of pesticides used are highlighted in Table 4.
on farmlands in Kaduna State
The information on the population of crop farmers in
Kaduna State from 2002-2006 (NBS-Agricultural Survey From the results of this research work, it was concluded

Amount of pesticide containers burnt, re-used and buried from 2002-2022

Quantity of pesticide Quantity of pesticide Quantity of pesticide Quantity of pesticide

Year No of Crop Farmers containers to be used containers to be burnt containers to be re- used containers to be buried
2002 1255000a 7530000c 4774773 2020299 734928
2003 1341000 8046000c 5101969 2158742 785290
2004 1427000 a 8562000c 5429164 2297185 835651
2005 1338000 a 8028000c 5090555 2153912 783533
2006 1293000 a 7758000c 4919348 2081471 757181
2007 1305930b 7835580c 4968541 2102286 764753
2008 1318989 b 7913936c 5018227 2123309 772400
2009 1332179 b 7993075c 5068409 2144542 780124
2010 1345501 b 8073006c 5119093 2165987 787925
2011 1358956 b 8153736c 5170284 2187647 795805
2012 1372546 b 8235273c 5221987 2209524 803763
b c
2013 1386271 8317626 5274207 2231619 811800
2014 1400134 b 8400802c 5326949 2253935 819918
2015 1414135 b 8484810c 5380218 2276475 828117
2016 1428276 b 8569658c 5434020 2299239 836399
2017 1442559 b 8655355c 5488361 2322232 844763
2018 1456985 b 8741909c 5543244 2345454 853210
2019 1471555 b 8829328c 5598677 2368909 861742
2020 1486270 b 8917621c 5654663 2392598 870360
2021 1501133 b 9006797c 5711210 2416524 879063
2022 1516144 b 9096865c 5768322 2440689 887854
Obtained from NBS- Agricultural Survey Report, 2007
estimated assuming annual growth rate of 0.916%
estimation based on the average of 6 containers per farmer as obtained from the questionnaires

SWOT analysis of management of used pesticides containers in Nigeria

Strenghts Weakness Opportunities Threats

 Fairly accurate data records on  Non-existence of  Establishment of formal  The improper reuse and
imported products can be obtained environmental regulations and plastics recycling activities is viable disposal methods presently practiced
from pesticides dealers / distributors. legislation which supports used since there is high potential for its in Nigeria may expose millions of
pesticides container management generation. people to toxins if proper
 Existence of Agricultural management programmes are not put
agencies that can train farmers on  Lack of disposal facilities for  Employment and income in place as soon as possible.
proper disposal methods for pesticides containers. generation through the used
pesticides containers and the risks of pesticides container management
improper disposal to the  Lack of public awareness on processes (collection, cleaning and
environment. the potential risks of improperly transportation)
disposed pesticides containers to the
 Existence of pesticides dealers / environment and human health.
distributors that could link up
directly with manufacturers for  Lack of infrastructure for
possible return of used pesticides formal collection and recycling
containers for reuse for packaging of pesticides containers
the product.  Improper disposal methods
such as burning and burying could
lead to environmental pollution as
well as pose risk to human health.

that pesticide containers are not well disposed in the study REFERENCES
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