Agricultural activities, pesticide use and occupational hazards among women working in small scale farming in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

S Naidoo, L London, Lex Burdorf, RN Naidoo, H Kromhout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


South Africa's land policies have increased women's participation in agriculture, but limited information exists about their agricultural activities. We surveyed 911 women working on the Makhatini Flats in Northern KwaZulu-Natal in 2006, gathering data on demographics, agricultural activities, crop production and pesticide use in both irrigated and Dryland areas. Average age of participants was 41.9, with Drylands women slightly older. Education levels were low among both groups, but lowest in the Drylands. Drylands women were more likely to engage in reported agricultural activities, including pesticide spraying. Use of World Health Organization class I and II pesticides was reported in both areas. Farm ownership, age <30 years, and being a sprayer were associated with knowledge of the names of pesticides utilized. This analysis suggests that women on the Drylands face greater risk of adverse ergonomic health outcomes and women from both areas are equally at risk for adverse pesticide-related health outcomes.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)218-224
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cite this