Wenchi, a town out in the Styx. From where I was doing some research.
Finding out about pesticides.....
The farmer finds his crop is being attacked by pests. So what does
he do, he wanders down to the agro-chemical store and asks for something
to kill these terrible bugs that are chopping his crop. The chemical
seller goes into the back of his small shop and pulls out an old
bottle of DDT. Because the farmer doesn't have much money the seller
reaches for a small bottle and pours a small quantity of the chemical
into it. The farmer looks at it and tells the seller that it doesn't
look or smell like the last chemical he bought. He questions whether
it is strong pesticide. He thinks the chemical seller is trying
to pass off some other liquid to him. Something that won't kill
those terrible pests? So he dips his finger into the bottle and
brings his finger to his mouth. 'Yes' he says, 'it certainly is
strong pesticide'. He pays his few cedi's for the small bottle,
leaves the chemical seller and wanders off to his farm.
On the way to the farm he calls into his house and sees his wife
carrying a bucket of water which she will use to fill their drinking
water pot. As there is no water near his land, he persuades her
to let him take the bucket -she can use it for collecting drinking
water later- and walks the three miles through the bush to his two
Time to blitz those terrible pests he thinks as he pours the chemical
into the bucket of water and mixes it with his hands. He then pulls
a branch off a nearby palm tree and dips it into the bucket. This
is the Hosanna Method of pesticide application. He flicks the pesticide
over his crops. Like the priest flicking holy water over his congregation.
Only the priest isn't killing himself with DDT.
When the farmer's maize is ready to be stored he hears about a
new chemical that is on the market. The agricultural extension officers
are holding a farmers day to explain what this new pesticide is
and how to use it. The farmer goes along to the farmers day.
At the farmers day the extension officers are addressing the farmers
who are gathered round. Or rather they are addressing the chiefs
and village dignitaries so the farmer has difficulty in hearing
what is being said. But no matter, he can see the big extension
officer demonstrating the concentrations.... a farmer is pulled
from the crowd to demonstrate how to use the new chemical. But first
the officer tells him to wear protective clothing.
The extension officer knows that there is no 'real' protective
clothing around, the nearest shop selling gloves and facemasks is
in the big town which is an hours drive away; so he instructs the
farmer to improvise, to use plastic bags as gloves and a handkerchief
as a face mask. When the farmer is suitably protected the officer
demonstrates how to spray the maize. Of course _he_ is not wearing
any protective clothing. The farmer is then given the sprayer and
starts spraying the maize. 'No no no' says the extension officer,
'you do it like _this_'...... And once again the officer is spraying.
The farmer wearing the plastic bags on his hands and handkerchief
on his mouth is beginning to feel a little silly, afterall, why
should he dress up and look foolish whilst the extension officer
can spray without wearing plastic bags on his hands and a handkerchief
on his mouth? The farmer gives the maize another spray before being
given a round of applause. He wanders off, he now knows how to apply
this new chemical on his maize. Feeling hungry on his way home he
stops at a 'chop bar' and eats his fufu. Only the extension officer
didn't tell him the importance of washing his hands after using
chemicals and a little later his stomach pains him. Bad fufu he
thinks to himself.....