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Agriculture, Research Summary

An Overview of Agrochemicals and Their Effects on Environment in Nepal

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Pesticide use in Nepal started in the early 1950s with DDT for malaria eradication. Various fungicides such as Dithane M-45 (mancozeb), Dithane Z-78 (zineb), Fytolan or Blitox-50 (copper oxychloride) and Bavistin were evaluated as foliar sprays for the control of various foliar and cob rot diseases.

However, spraying fungicides for the control of maize diseases is not advisable in Nepal. As a result, seed treatment with Sumi 8 (diniconazole), Tilt (propiconazole), Raxil (tebuconazole) or Bayleton (triademefon) at the rate of 2 g or ml/ kg seed has been found most effective for the control of the diseases. Chemicals such as Hinosan, CGA 49104, Kasugamycin, Beam were found to be effective for the control of rice blast.

Use of Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Endrin, Aldrin, Heptachlor, Toxafen, Mirex, BHC, Lindane, Phosphamidon, Orano mercury fungicides, Methyl parathion and Monocrotophos are banned in Nepal.

A total of 178 tons of pesticides were used in 2003, of which insecticides (58%) and fungicides (31%) were consumed. Terai (25.04% of land holdings) has maximum pesticide usage than Mid-hills (8.38%) and Mountains (7.14%). However, the amount of pesticides used in Nepal is considered insignificant (142 gm/ha) in comparison to India (500 gm/ha), Korea (6.6 kg/ha), Japan (12 kg/ha).

Government of Nepal (GoN) is the signatory of Stockholm Convention, Basel Convention and Rotterdam Convention to manage agrochemicals.

Materials and methods

Study area

Rupandehi district of Western Development Region (WDR) in Nepal.


Stratified random sampling (171 individuals from 21 VDCs and 1 municipality). Data sampling was performed by ArcGIS, SPSS and MS Excel.


a. If fertilizers and pesticides were used previously?

b. How often they were used?

c. Which pesticides were mostly applied and why?

d. The knowledge of pesticide toxicity and symptoms?

e. Attitude towards the cost of the pesticides ?

f. Types of agrochemicals application method?

g. The fate of left over agrochemicals and storage?

h. The disposal of empty pesticide container?

i. The pesticide impact on environment?

j. How one can reduce the agrochemicals impact on human and environment?

Results and discussion

Negative effects of agrochemicals residues

Decline in quality of organic matter, ammonification and nitrification, mineralization/ decomposition by fungi are resulted due to application of agrochemicals in soil.

Bio magnification results to fish kills, reproductive failures in birds. Asthma, cancer, reduced sperm quality and count, affected endocrine and immune systems occurs in human.

Farmer’s awareness of agrochemical residues

Although 90 (52.63%) respondents were found literate, most respondents lack knowledge of threats of excessive pesticide residues. 170 (99.41%) individuals understand the basic method of agrochemicals application, 168 (98.24%) lacked the concept of bioaccumulation and bio magnification.

Cost of pesticides  
Extremely expensive15087.71
Non expensive00
Type of agrochemicals used  
Animal dung179.94
Animal dung + Urea + DAP + Potash5733.33
Urea + DAP + Potash7342.69
Adverse effects of agrochemicals*  
Environmental pollution171100
Killing of non-target species105.84
Insecticide resistance52.92
Agrochemicals storage practice  
Hanging inside105.84
On top of the house2112.28
Locked up in a safe place12371.92
Along with food stuffs179.94
Leftover agrochemicals solution  
Stored and used for another application9555.55
Pour into bushes /river/ stream127.01
Sell it to other farmers42.33
Apply even though it is not needed6035.08
Disposed on the soil00
Disposal of empty agrochemicals containers  
Use them for household purpose116.43
Left in the farm/ nearby farm itself5029.23
Whether you have received any training regarding the use of agrochemicals?  
Personal protective devices (PPDs)  
Health impacts*  
Abdominal pain2916.95
Dermatitis and conjunctivitis8046.78
*percentage do not add up to 100% because of multiple responses, NA = Not answered
Table 1. Perception of farmers towards agrochemicals and their sustainable uses

Conclusion and Recommendation

Use of bio pesticides, bioremediation of pesticide contaminated land, transgenic crop cultivation is some of the alternatives. Mechanisms for enforcing regulations adopting FAO guidelines should be developed with adequate educational and training interventions. Enhanced surveillance, management of pesticide poisoning, raising awareness at grass root level are necessary.  

Reference to original paper

Bhandari, G. (2014). An Overview of Agrochemicals and Their Effects on Environment in Nepal. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 2(2), 66-73. doi: 10.12691/aees-2-2-5

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Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala is Jennifer Headley Memorial Scholar at WWF, Nepal. She is now pursuing Bachelor in Agriculture in Lamjung. Getting surrounded by creative minds and bringing out the innovations to solve problems aspires her to grow every day.

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