The two most important challenges of today are the need to provide adequate supply of food and improve the health of a rapidly increasing human population. It has been estimated that while the annual rate of food production increase is less than 1.0% in tropical developing nations, the annual population growth rate is 2.0%. There is, therefore, a serious disparity between food supply and demand, and it is no secret that we live in a hungry world.

Pests, which include insects, diseases and weeds, worsen this problem by destroying agricultural crops in the field and in storage. Losses of agricultural crop are estimated at an average of 35% and are highest in the tropics, particularly in Africa, Asia and South America. Without pesticides, an estimated two-thirds of all crops would be lost depriving millions of people of food, hence the indispensability of pesticides.

Pesticide use has recently assumed an increasingly significant role in the production of food and prevention of vector borne diseases in Ghana. Before the 1980’s, pesticides were mainly used for pest and disease control in the cocoa industry. However, from the 1980s to the present, the use of other plant protection chemicals including herbicides, fungicides and growth regulators have increased drastically.

POPs are still much in use for vector control programmes. Dieldrin, Aldrin and even Benzenehexachloride (BHC) are readily available for use in both vector control and agriculture. Dieldrin is still the chemical of choice for locust control campaigns in North, East, Central and South Africa.


The use of Agrochemicals in Ghana has reached an alarming proportion especially where a large percentage of farmers are illiterate. A number of chemicals, which have been banned in developed countries, are freely used on farms in Ghana. Due to ignorance, the chemicals are wrongly applied with devastating effects on human health and the environment at large. In assessing the hazards to man, it is important to consider the chemical and physical properties of the active ingredient as well as the mode of application.

The health implications associated with releases of residual agro-chemicals to surface and ground water are grave. It is important to note that human and logistical support do not exist to monitor and create awareness on the menace that chemicals cause to both man and biodiversity.

A recent survey carried out by Ecological Restorations (2004) at the Weija Irrigation site revealed that banned chemicals are used in vegetable production to supply the local markets in Accra-Tema, and also for export. Although farmers in the area have been taught, and are aware of Integrated Pest Management, this has not been the practice. Crop diseases are, however, controlled and/or managed by crop rotation as well as the use of chemicals. Wide ranges of chemicals used are Karate, Furadan, Topsin, Dursban, and Kocide. Sometimes these chemical preparations have some tincture of banned chemicals (DDT, Lindane, Thiodan Endosulfan) among others to meet their expected results.

The run-offs from the farms as well as dispersal or carriage by wind or air enter a stream (Okurudu) nearby which further flows into the Nyanya lagoon from which fishing and salt mining take place.

The complete environmental effects of these practices are not known and it is important to investigate into these and raise the awareness of the producers and consumers alike to promote safe production management techniques.

2.3.1 Overall Project Objectives

The main objective of this project is to raise public awareness on Persistent Organic Pollutant and promote the use of integrated pest management techniques in vegetable production and discourage the use of persistent organic chemicals, in order to safeguard the health of vegetable consumers and the welfare of the general populace.


The specific objectives of the proposal are:

1. To raise awareness on the effects of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs),
2. To encourage the use of Integrated Pest Control Methods in vegetable production

2.3.3 Project Rationale

In Ghana, though dieldrin, aldrin, endrin and DDT are banned, lindane was the pesticide used on cocoa farms until 2001 when it also became banned. Endosulfan, marketed as thiodan, is the chemical of choice for cotton growers in the North. The possibility, therefore, exists that these compounds (lindane and endosulfan), which are pops compounds, are used on other food crops such as vegetables, or as a result of mix-cropping farming techniques, could result in a possible presence of such compound residues in the food crops.

The majority of the pesticides imported, formulated, packed and distributed in most African and other third-world countries originate from major companies in Europe and the United States. In 1980, United Kingdom (UK) was among the biggest exporters of pesticides to West African countries of about 16,462 metric tons. Nigeria was ranked first in terms of quantities of pesticides, having imported about 15,346 metric tons from the U.K. Ghana ranked second with 299.5 metric tons and Gambia third with 237.6 metric tons. Pesticide use on cash and food crops in West Africa is expected to increase at a rate of 15% per year through the 1990s (Skaf, 1979).

By the year 2000, about US$30,000 million was spent on pesticides worldwide. Only 10 multinational companies made about 70% of the sales and 20% of the trade took place with developing countries, which are mostly importers of these chemical products (FOE).

Most countries have major chemical company representatives responsible for promotion, sale and distribution of their products. Large farms such as State farms and other large agricultural organizations usually make their purchases directly from these firms. On the other hand, there is the informal pesticide distributor, whose practice is common all over Africa. Here an entrepreneur purchases a pesticide in bulk, repackages it into smaller containers, and sells directly to farmers. Repackaging is sometimes done in unlabelled containers, sometimes even in beverage containers such as beer and coca-cola bottles to make it affordable to local small-scale farmers.

The role of pesticides, especially the POPs such as DDT, in reducing insect-transmitted diseases is among the developments of the past four to five decades that have contributed most significantly to the health and welfare of mankind. Millions are alive today, which would not be, if it were not for DDT and other pesticides. A classic case is that of India. In 1966 only 150,000 cases of malaria occurred, in contrast to 100 million cases before the introduction of DDT.

However, development of modern pesticides has not been without problems. The intended function of pesticides which has been to increase food supply, protect health and welfare, preserve the forest and improve recreational opportunities has been realized but with certain side effects. POPs, and for that matter pesticides, are known to remain in soils, flora and fauna. This is because over a period of time, substantial amounts of even a very sparingly soluble chemical may be able to enter through the roots of rapidly transpiring plant. Such materials often move up the plant and, if it is not metabolized, many accumulate in the edible parts of food and are consumed by animals and man. The problems known to be associated with the use of pesticides include:

1. Insect resistance to insecticides
2. Adverse-effects on non-target useful species
3. Resurgence and secondary pest development
4. Hazards of pesticide residue
5. Health Hazard (Pesticide poisoning)

It is likely that pesticides will continue to play a major role in agriculture and public health at least for the foreseeable future. Although in agriculture and forestry, there have been substitutes to some of the pesticides that pose hazard to non-target species; such is not the case in some areas of public health. For example, no suitable alternative to DDT has been found for malaria control as stated above, and this being the case, DDT will continue to be used. Perhaps that explains the continued production and availability of DDT in spite of the persistent campaign to have it severely restricted or totally banned. Most agricultural scientists and specialists agree that pesticides are needed and that they are essential tools in the pest control programmes. However, their misuse, overuse and unnecessary use must be avoided at all times.


Objective 1 Raise awareness to promote production and consumption of organically produced vegetables.
Results 1
1.1 Laboratory analysis on the presence and management of POP in vegetable produced and consumed in Accra Metropolis conducted
1.2 At least 60% of vegetable producers and consumers in Accra, Policy-makers, restaurant operators and street vendors made aware of the effects of POPs.

Objective 2 Encourage the use of Integrated Pest Control Methods.

Results 2
a. Establish demonstration organic farms in Weija
b. Assist at least 200 vegetable farmers in Accra to adopt IPM


The activities to be pursed in order to achieve the results are as follows:

Results 1.1 Conduct laboratory analysis of the presence and management of POPs in vegetables produced and consumed in the Accra metropolis


The project will liaise with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to conduct a laboratory analysis of the presence of POPs in vegetables consumed in the Accra metropolis. An initial survey of the main vegetable markets in Accra would be conducted. Thereafter, vegetables from these markets including those produced on the wayside would be acquired and analyzed under the CSIR and Standard Board Regulation. The finding of the laboratory analysis would be published and discussed at a national forum made up major vegetable consumers and policy makers.

Results 1.2 At least 60% of vegetable producers and consumers in Accra, Policy-makers, restaurant operators and street vendors made aware of the effects of POPs.


Based on the results of the earlier study and laboratory analysis, the project will conduct series of workshops and meetings with stakeholders on the effects of POPs. The workshop would be organized on three levels. The first one would be among the vegetable producers at various locations in Accra and Tema. This will be followed up with a demonstration plot at Accra Weija Irrigation Site to demonstrate the use of Integrated Pest Management, IPM in vegetable production.
The second level of workshop will be targeted at Policy makers at the metropolitan, municipal and Ministries level, Academicians, Researchers, the Press and the Parliament on the presence of POPs in vegetables being consumed and the need to formulate policies to regulate the cultivation of vegetables in the country.
The third level workshop will be targeted at restaurant operators and food vendors in Accra .The purpose of the workshop will be to demonstrate the presence and effects of POPs in raw vegetables with the view to encouraging them to patronize organically produced vegetables.
Aside the workshops, the project will institutionalize weekly radio and Television discussions on the effects on POPs with the view to influencing the consumption behaviour of people to opt for organically produced vegetables.

Results 1.3 Consumer associations in the urban areas made to champion the production of organically produced vegetable on the local markets.


The project will work in collaboration with various consumer associations and traders in Accra to ensure that vegetables produced from the chosen sites are patronized to ensure the sustainability of the project.

Results 2.1 Establish demonstration organic farms in Weija


Ecological Restorations, together with the local vegetable farmers, will establish 0.6 ha of land as demonstration for organic vegetable farming in Weija .These demonstration farms will be used to teach the farmers on IPM and other improved methods of farming.

Results 2.2 Assist at least 200 vegetable farmers in the Accra to adopt IPM.


The project will assist the vegetable producers to form an association and these associations will select 200 farmers in the metropolis to be trained in IPM.
The project will also assist the trained farmers to purchase organic manure as start-up capital. This amount, plus a small interest, is to be refunded after harvesting and is to be ploughed back into the coffers of the association for more farmers to benefit.
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Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 28,700.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 31,400.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 25,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
Farmers will gain on-hands demonstration from the capacity buiding workshops and film documentary,whilst the consumers would be advised to purchase the organic vegetables to sustain the livelihood component.
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
The farmers group, consumer group and opinion leaders in the community have all embraced the project.
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Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 2
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 1
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 10
Number of indigenous people participated/involved in SGP project 10
Number of value added labels/certifications/quality standards received or achieved 1
Innovative financial mechanisms put in place through SGP project 2
Number and type of support linkages established with local governments/authorities 1
Number and type of support linkages established with national government institutions 1
Total additional in cash or in kind support obtained for new initiatives and opportunities through SGP project (in US dollars) 5000
Total additional in cash or in kind support obtained for sustaining, up-scaling, and replicating SGP supported project (in US dollars) 10000
Total monetary value (US dollars) of ecosystem goods sustainably produced and providing benefit to project participants and/or community as a whole (in the biodiversity, international waters, and land degradation focal areas as appropriate) 400000
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 60
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 25
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 30
Reduction in the amount released into the environment or elimination of POPs through the SGP Grams/year of Hexachlorobenzene (HCB - C6H6) eliminated or release into the environment prevented 500
Reduction in the amount released into the environment or elimination of POPs through the SGP Kilogram (Kg) of Endrin (C12H8Cl6O) eliminated or release into the environment prevented 300
Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 3
Number of local policies informed in POPs focal area 2


Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302
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