Pesticides: Damage Avoidance

Authored by: Aiwerasia V.F. Ngowi , Larama M.B. Rongo

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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To enhance the quality of life for farmers and society, getting rid of pesticides could remove the accompanying health and environmental problem. Pesticides are a big and growing business benefiting multinational companies in developed countries; however, the developing countries act as pesticide markets left to deal with the adverse effects. Pesticide control legislation was started to establish rules and principles for the management of pesticides so as to protect people and the environment against the harmful effects of pesticides. Exploring the weakness in the implementation of effective regulations in developing countries shows that it is mostly compounded by weak capability, infrastructure, and the international trade that hinder implementation of regulatory controls. To avoid damage, knowledge of hazards posed by the available pesticides could be developed and appropriate control measures established. Although it is known that use of personal protective equipment during pesticide handling is very important, farmers do not use it because it is too expensive, not available, or uncomfortable. Organic farming is practiced by farmers, especially in horticulture, to grow vegetables and fruits consumed by family members; however, they believe that by using pesticides, they increase yield and improve the appearance of the vegetables grown for sale. Surveillance is important for providing evidence of pesticide poisoning and its extent of pesticide poisoning to inform policy for intervention. Participatory approaches work very well in educating and also learning from the farmers’ indigenous knowledge. In promoting sustainable agriculture, pesticide damage can be avoided by eliminating the most hazardous substances and reducing dependence on pesticides. This entry is organized into the following sections: general introduction, avoiding pesticide hazards, and pesticide poisoning surveillance. Illustrations are included in the sections on pesticide regulation, avoiding pesticide hazards, and encouraging judicious use of pesticides. The main goal of the entry is to explore how damage due to pesticides could be avoided, particularly in Africa, by using less harmful pesticides, more careful application, or not using at all.

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