African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6363

Full Length Research Paper

Consumers’ awareness of the presence of pathogenic bacteria and pesticide residues on tomatoes sold in Nairobi

J. H. Nguetti
  • J. H. Nguetti
  • Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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J. K. Imungi
  • J. K. Imungi
  • Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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M. W. Okoth
  • M. W. Okoth
  • Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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E. S. Mitema
  • E. S. Mitema
  • Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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W. F. Mbacham
  • W. F. Mbacham
  • Department of Health Economics, Policy and Management, Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda, Cameroon.
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J. Wang’ombe
  • J. Wang’ombe
  • Department of Health Economics, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 14 September 2019
  •  Accepted: 20 November 2019
  •  Published: 31 December 2019

Abstract

Tomato consumed worldwide for its vitamins and bioactive elements can harbor postharvest bacteria and pesticide residues. A cross-sectional survey using a semi-structured questionnaire was done in 101 households in Kangemi assessing consumers’ awareness on pesticide residues and bacterial presence on tomatoes sold in Nairobi. Questionnaire was administered in Kangemi during weekends, systematic random sampling was applied during household recruitment. Data analyses used SPSS; analytical tools included means, standard deviation, binomial test and bivariate correlation. Male (64.86±0.48) had better awareness on pesticides on tomato (p=0.037) and consumers of 36 to 53 years old were more knowledgeable (58.29±0.34) than others. Awareness with education level was significant at 95% level of confidence (p=0.044); 86% respondents were more conversant with pathogens than with pesticides and 97% knew that pesticides were used in farms (p= 0.0001). About 91% indicated that pesticides are dangerous for health and 74% related pesticides in farms to their presence on tomatoes in markets (p= 0.0001). However, 74% believed that washing provides tomatoes without pesticides (p= 0.0001) while 65% mentioned that pesticides can be present on tomato eaten as salad (p= 0.004). Consumers’ knowledge was insufficient on tomato with pesticides; this can be improved through information, communication and education.

Key words: Health, household, farms, knowledge, marital status, vegetable