In some regions where agrochemicals are used tea producers, farmers and sprayers may not be sufficiently aware of the risks agrochemicals pose, or know how to use them safely. This means that they can be used in a way that’s detrimental to themselves, co-workers and the environment.
To help address the issue we entered a partnership with the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (TRI) to provide training on the safe use of agrochemicals. This will help to reduce the immediate and long-term health risks and environmental impact associated with their use.
The project team worked with agrochemical experts Croplife International, and developed a training programme based on risks that were identified in a baseline survey of farmers. The material was designed to change habitual practices which can be harmful. The training is targeted at managers, farmers and sprayers, and covers a range of issues:
- Hazardous chemical information
- Appropriate Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- How to correctly store, mix and spray agrochemicals
- Correct disposal of chemical container
- Proper maintenance of spraying equipment to minimise leak
Our agrochemical safety programme has been expanded to Sri Lanka and delivered to 30 estates that supply our members. The programme was run in partnership with the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) and consisted of two parts.
The first ensured that sprayers are trained and provided with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) so that they spray in a safe and responsible way. The second was aimed at school children to help them understand the dangers of agrochemicals, and included basic information on not to play with old chemical containers or to use them for water collection.