The use and fate of pesticides in vegetable-based agroecosystems in Ghana

W.J. Ntow

Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


The use of a wide range of chemicals to destroy pests and weeds is an important aspect of agricultural practice in Ghana, contributing to increased crop yield and reduced post-harvest losses. Notwithstanding the beneficial effects of pesticides, their adverse effects on environmental quality and human health constitute a major issue that gives rise to concerns at local, regional and national scales. The situation is particularly worrying in view of the lack of reliable data on the long-term consequences of exposure to pesticides. Ntow’s thesis reports on current knowledge on pesticides use in vegetable farming in Ghana and establishes the fate of pesticides in situ in tropical vegetable-based agroecosystems, as well as their environmental and public health impacts on selected population groups. Thus, water, waterbed sediment and vegetable crops (viz. tomato, cabbage, pepper, onion and eggplant) were checked for residues of the pesticides monitored on the farmers’ fields. Data on persistent pesticide residues in farmers’ breast milk and blood serum indicated the presence of DDTs, dieldrin, HCB, and HCHs; this especially raises concerns for children’s health. The thesis concludes that successful actions to reduce negative impacts of pesticides require sustained, low cost, and well-targeted training interventions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Gijzen, H.J., Promotor
  • Kelderman, P., Co-promotor, External person
Award date17 Jan 2008
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085048367
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • pesticides
  • endosulfan
  • leakage
  • runoff
  • occupational hazards
  • cholinesterase
  • ghana
  • acetylcholinesterase
  • environmental degradation
  • agroecosystems
  • persistent organic pollutants
  • bioaccumulation

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