12. Economic contributions of pest management to agricultural development.
Tropical Pest Management, 35, (3), 1989, pp. 248-251
This article focuses on the contribution of pest control inputs and pest management skills to the transformation of traditional agriculture. The topic is covered in a general manner because little empirical evidence is available for use in providing specific illustrations of general relationships.
Increased use of pesticides in developing economies has been associated with an increased incidence of acute pesticide poisonings and potential for chronic health effects, as well as contamination of food and water supplies. These adverse impacts of pesticide use can become a constraint to agricultural development.
Acute and chronic health effects reduce the productivity of the agricultural labour force, thus limiting labour's contribution to agricultural development. High exposure rates to toxic chemicals by the population at large may also reduce the productivity of the urban labour force and limit economic growth. Environmental contamination can reduce the productivity of land - the most basic of production inputs.
Management strategies which lead to the development of pesticide resistance depreciate the value of the crop protection input itself.
Agricultural development and environmental quality are not necessarily incompatible. Protection of the human and natural resource bases is a prerequisite for sustainable growth and development. The principal factor determining whether development efforts lead to environmental degradation or conservation is the focus of agricultural policies and programs.
Access to material inputs, such as pesticides, cannot foster growth and development. Concurrent attention to the development of pesticide safety and pest management skills is required to prevent these inputs from becoming limiting factors for economic growth.
Ideally, the production protection, safety, and environmental aspects of pest control should be simultaneously addressed at early stages of agricultural development. This can only be achieved by increasing farmers' awareness and understanding of the pest control opportunities afforded them, while implementing policies and programs that preclude a unilateral approach to crop production, protection, or environmental quality.
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Latin America, Colombia, integrated plant protection, inter cropping, predator, cassava whitefly
GOLD, D.S. and M.A. ALTIERI
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