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Active ingredients and the concentration of the biocide can provide an indication of the level of exposure for humans, crops, and insects. For example, the concentration of active ingredients in biocides ranges from 2% to 80%. By comparison, household-use pesticide concentrations are in the 2% range, which purposely limits the levels of exposure (WHO, 2015).
How to operationalize the metric
Method of data collection and data needed to compute the method:
Recall surveys are used to collect data on pesticide use for agricultural production. The farmers are asked if any pesticides were used, and the amount and unit of measure (e.g., liter, kg). In addition, surveys can be modified to collect data on the type of pesticide used. This is something that most multi-indicator surveys (e.g., LSMS) do not ask. If data on the type of pesticide is not collected, then it is difficult to know the concentration of active ingredients applied to the farm. In addition, data on the area (in acres or hectares) on which pesticides are applied should be collected.
Unit of analysis:
The unit of analysis is the active ingredient that is applied per hectare. WHO (2002) provides a classification of active ingredients by physical state (solid or liquid) and their level of hazard.
Limitations regarding estimating and interpreting:
An issue with this metric is the recall period in which the farmer has to provide accurate data on pesticide use. In most cases, surveys collect data at the end of the season or agricultural year, and the information depends on the correct recollection of information by the farmer(s).