The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is reminding farmers to wear the proper protective gear when using pesticides on their farms.
Principal Director of Technical Services at RADA, Marina Young, said that the Agency has faced challenges with farmers, using the required gear such as overalls, goggles, chemical resistant gloves and respirators.
“The reasons are various including the fact it is very hot because even if they spray early in the morning or late afternoon, they are still in the tropics where the temperature is quite high,” she stated.
“The most critical gears are the long-sleeve shirt, long pants, water boots and chemical resistant gloves.— RADA’s Marina Young
Young further noted that based on RADA’s engagement with the over 36,000 farmers annually, the cost of protective gear is also an issue.
“The most critical gears are the long-sleeve shirt, long pants, water boots and chemical resistant gloves. The cost of the chemical resistant gloves is considered to be economical, as it is about $500 if bought in large quantities. However, respirators are the most expensive and can be between $4,000 and $5,000 depending on the brand and model,” she explained.
Young, however, noted that technology is developing very rapidly and protective gear can be simplified.
“So instead of wearing overalls, farmers can use long-sleeve shirts and long pants which can be a lighter type of material,” she said.