Micron Group, manufacturers of low volume precision sprayers, are proud to be a partner in Arysta LifeScience’s “Applique Bien” programme in West Africa. The programme has been set up to promote best practice in pesticide application in order to improve application techniques and increase operator safety.
First of its kind, this innovative programme aims to provide small scale farmers in Africa with free training and advice on protective equipment, sprayer use, product labels and safety. Having been successfully launched in Brazil, the project is being rolled out in West Africa; initially in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in cotton and cocoa. The project officers are hoping to extend the programme to neighbouring countries and other crops including vegetables, rice and maize in order to train a larger number of producers who work with pesticides.
To deliver the project, Arysta LifeScience employ a purpose-built mobile training unit which travels to African villages to educate local farmers on pesticide application and operator protection through practical and interactive training sessions. So far Micron Group have supported the programme with a number of country visits where staff delivered a presentation on the correct calibration, use and maintenance of Micron’s low volume sprayers Handy and Ulva+, followed by practical demonstrations of the equipment.
Micron’s CDA (Controlled Droplet Application) range offer users many advantages over knapsack sprayers. Unlike conventional pressure nozzle sprayers, Handy and Ulva+ produce only the optimum size of spray droplets for the particular application. This is achieved by specifically designed rotary atomisers which break up the spray liquid evenly. As a result, considerably less water is required which means less time and effort is spent fetching water and spraying a given area. The control over droplet size ensures efficient use of chemical and provides improved operator safety due to the sprayers’ targeted application. Both Handy and Ulva+ offer a high work rate and are able to treat the same area 4 to 5 times faster than a knapsack sprayer. Their battery powered design eliminates pumping, subsequently reducing operator fatigue.
So far the program has received excellent feedback from farmers many of whom said they had never received such training on pesticide application before. It is hoped that not only the Applique Bien programme will instil better practice in pesticide use but it will also contribute towards improved productivity and help secure farmers’ income in Africa. The objectives of this first agricultural campaign are to undertake 100 days of training in each country and to train around 2000 producers in total.