Prevalence of Pesticide Residue Levels in Ghana Cocoa Beans

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Fermented cocoa beans with pesticide residues higher than the acceptable levels stipulated by importers face the possibility of being rejected. The use of these pesticides is inevitable owing to the havoc caused by pests. Organochlorine pesticide: imidacloprid and pyrethroid pesticides: fenvalerate, cypermethrin and permethrin were determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC). Eight hundred and seventy-three (873) samples for the 2013/14 cocoa season and 925 samples for the 2014/15 season were analyzed. The overall failure rate for all the smaples in the first season was 8.9% (78/873) and for all the bags/tonnage supplied, 9.1% (35275/387317). For the second season, the overall rate for the 925 samples analyzed was 15.6% (144/925) and for all the bags/tonnage supplied, 15.2% (68985/454357). For the first crop season, the Ashanti region recorded the highest sample failure rate of 10.9% (16/147). In the second season the failure rate pertaining to the number of bags/tonnage from the Volta region was the highest (100%). Pesticide residues in the samples or bags/tonnage were mainly due to cypermethrin followed by fenvalerate, imidachloprid and lastly, permethrin. A higher proportion of samples or bags/tonnage of cocoa beans contained cypermethrin and permethrin residues in the first cocoa season than the second season. The reverse was the case for fenvalerate and imidacloprid. Cypermethrin and fenvalerate residues were found in samples from all the regions. Residues of permethrin were found only in the samples from Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region and in samples from Nsokote in the Ashanti region. Imidacloprid residues were absent only in samples from the Ashanti region and the Volta region. On the whole, the highest proportions of residues were found in samples supplied from the Western South Region, Central Region and Eastern Region for cypermethrin, fenvalerate for the 2013/14 cocoa season. In the 2014/15 season, the highest supply of the beans with cypermethrin and fenvalerate residues were also supplied from the Western South Region and imidacloprid from the Western North Region (Tables 4.8a-4.8d). It is recommeded that training and effective communication with all stakeholders should be carried out with regards to the proper use of pesticides. Continuous monitoring needs to be done to ensure that pesticides are not abused by those who use them.
A thesis is submitted to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment for the award of Msc. in food quality management