Main Article Content
Consumers, Knowledge, Practices, Pesticides residues, Reduction
Pesticides are important components of agricultural production but the consumption of crops treated with pesticides, even in small quantities, can accumulate in the human body and cause health problems. Therefore, consumers’ knowledge and practices on reduction of these residues is essential however, there is scant of information on consumers’ knowledge and practices on pesticide residues reduction in tomatoes in Tanzania. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Mvomero District in Morogoro region among 280 randomly selected consumers. Questionnaires were administered through face-to-face interviews to assess knowledge and practices on the reduction of pesticide residues in tomatoes before consumption. Data were analyzed using SPSSTM version 20 to obtain descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that 64.6% of respondents know that pesticides can cause health effects of which, 41% are not sure of the specific health problem with few mentioning cancers. About 80% of respondents know that tomatoes sold in the market have pesticide residues. Majority of respondents (78.9%) believe that the pesticide residues in tomatoes disappear after cooking. Seventy-five percent of respondents reported that they know methods for reducing pesticide residues of which 66.8% reported to be reducing pesticide residues by washing with water. Generally, consumer’s knowledge on health effects and practices on reduction of pesticide residues before consumption was relatively poor. Hence, there is a need for improving knowledge on reducing pesticide residues in tomatoes using cost-effective methods that are applicable at the household level. Knowledge on the health effects of pesticide residues was significantly associated with having a mobile phone, reading newspapers, and attending training on pesticides and associated health effects. Therefore, phones, radio, and newspapers may be used as effective methods for communicating health information to the public.