This work aims to promote the rational use of agrochemicals in cashew cultivation by evaluating health prevention culture and environmental preservation levels in cashew producers’ practices in Côte d’Ivoire. A cross-sectional study was conducted from April 2017 to August 2018 in the 3 main cashew production areas (Mankono, Dabakala and Bondoukou). A total of 386 cashew farmers randomly selected were interviewed using the face-to-face technique with an anonymous structured questionnaire. Our results revealed that 68.9% (n=266) of the producers surveyed used agrochemicals but were essentially illiterate (66.04%) and relatively aged with 45 years in mean. Mankono represented the major site in pesticides use with mean of 10.6 L herbicide per hectare following Dabakala (2.5 l/ha). 70 different specialties were identified among them; 38.20% were not approved in Côte d'Ivoire. 11 active substances were identified. The controversy herbicide glyphosate was the most abundant active molecule used following 2,4-D amine salt. Several cases of acute intoxication (headache, nausea, etc.) were reported in 37.6% of producers who applied pesticides twice in every agricultural year for 2 to 4 h and in some cases (26%) within 1 and 4 pm without efficient protection. Concerning environment protection, 61.70% applicators abandoned pesticide packaging in the wild indicating poor environment regarding farmers’ practices. Taken together, our results suggested that the conditions of pesticide use were a real handicap for the sustainability of the cashew farming which could be improved by farmers training in safe use and rigorous control by the Ivorian Government.
Key words: Pesticide-safe-use, cashew-nuts-production, agricultural-practices.
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