Pesticides are dangerous poisons and therefore should be handled with special care. This exercise shows how to reduce risks when handling pesticides. It is done through role play with the involvement of the participants.
- To demonstrate the adverse effects of pesticides
- To display the right method of handling and using pesticides
- 30 minutes
- Water pan, poly bag, spray machine, red dye, mini crop field, snacks, water, mask, gloves, spectacles, cigarettes, bucket, paper tape, art paper, different food items, gunny bag etc
- The facilitator selects four participants and gives them instructions about handling pesticides and explaining the objectives of the session.
- Facilitator invites the participants to observe two role-plays. They will have to watch carefully because afterwards they will have to discuss about what they have seen. They will also create an environment for this role play.
- Role play 1: WRONG practices of handling pesticides
The person playing the role of ‘untrained farmer’ will try to depict the usual mistakes made by farmers when using pesticides. These include: pesticide selection, maintenance of equipment, preparation of equipment, preparation and mixing pesticides with his bare hands, taking snacks, smoking, drinking water, spraying against the direction of wind, etc. After some time he will start showing different signs of pesticide poisoning and he collapses on the ground.
- Role play 2: RIGHT METHODS of handling pesticides.
Another person will play the role as an “ideal farmer”. This farmer will show the importance of field observation and selection of right pesticide. He will display the precautions that should be taken starting from purchasing pesticides until even after spraying pesticides. He will display the methods of handling pesticides before, during and after spraying. During this role play one participant will act as a pesticide dealer (who will allure the man to be misguided in selecting pesticides, purchasing from broken packets, watching date of expire etc.). One lady will act as house wife (she acts to ignore the precaution to be taken in storing pesticide). The “ideal farmer” will give emphasis on use of the right pesticide in correct dose at the right time and in the right way. He will also show the proper maintenance of sprayer, uses protective clothes, and instructs his wife about storage.
Here is an overview of possible activities in the plays:
- Now the facilitator asks the participants to talk about what they have seen, comparing good behavior with bad behavior.
|Activities||Play 1 – WRONG method||Play 2 – RIGHT method|
|Cleaning the sprayer||Farmer did not clean the sprayer||Wash the sprayer thoroughly with detergent|
|Cleaning a clogged hose||The farmer used his mouth (blew) to clear the clogged hose||Checks by pumping and spaying water before pouring pesticides.
If needed clears using fine stick.
|Handling pesticides||No gloves||Uses gloves before handling the pesticide containers|
|Reading label||Doesn’t read||Reads the label carefully|
|Measuring the pesticide||Without measuring just puts it in the tank on assumption||Measures the pesticide according to recommendation|
|Mixing pesticides||Used his bare hands for mixing||Use a long disposable stirrer (stick)|
|Checking the wind direction||Without checking sprays against the wind||Checked the wind direction. If the wind blowing hard stop/do not spray. Sprays in the wind direction.|
|Using protective clothes for spraying||Does not use any protection||Uses protective clothes, gloves, long sleeves, etc.|
|Washing of spray loads||Washes loads in pond / river water||Washes loads in a safe place|
|Washing hands||Does not wash, wipes hand on his clothes||Washes hands carefully with soap|
Note: During a field day this role play can be played in great detail to show untrained farmers the risks of using pesticides
Some guidelines for discussion
- What do farmers usually do during pesticide spray?
- How can a farmer become contaminated with pesticide?
- How can a pesticide get into your body?
- What are signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning?
- What are the adverse effects of pesticides in the crop fields?
- Which precautions should be taken before using pesticides?
- Which precautions are needed during application of pesticides?
- Which precautions are important after spraying pesticides?
- Why is it dangerous if even a small amount of pesticides touches your body?