Food is an essential commodity that every country in the world aims to mass-produce to accommodate the increasingly growing population. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, a 70% increase in world production should be realized to ensure that food is enough for roughly 8 billion people.
Luiza Vickers, a New York businesswoman, firmly believes that there is no room for artificial chemicals in the process of mass-producing crops to meet agricultural demands.
Only a few cultivators are choosing to go pesticide-free, and it’s an issue that causes the common worry of many environmental activists today.
Any pesticide is a hazard in itself—Luiza Vickers
“Taking care of our health and environment means being fully committed to eliminating all potential threats, including pesticides,” states Luiza Vickers. She believes that exposure to such harsh chemicals, no matter how little farmers insist they use, can have detrimental effects on people, animals, and the ecosystem.
Most crop management issues were handled through physical, mechanical and cultural control strategies before the era of synthetic insecticides in the 1940s. Today, pesticides proliferate the farming industry and show no signs of slowing down in terms of purchase and use.
It’s critical to address the problem with pesticides. For one, only 0.1% of the chemical reaches the target organism to be eliminated. The remainder of this is dispersed to the surrounding environment, which may contaminate water, soil, and air.
Additionally, the residue can enter food sources, which we may unknowingly ingest. Studies suggest that pesticide exposure can cause various illnesses in animals and humans.
Pesticide management strategies
While manufacturers are currently making an effort to introduce organic and eco-friendly pesticides, there are other ways to eliminate the need for harshb chemicals to ensure food security.
Cultural control remains to be the less costly and eco-friendly option for pest management. Crop rotation, soil solarization, sanitation, and crop scheduling are some of the tried and tested methods for infestation.
For physical and mechanical control, methods such as steaming, sunray exposure, moisture trapping, clipping, and pruning can help significantly in minimizing crop failure without having to use harmful substances.
There is also a method of plant breeding, the Host Plant Resistance (HPR), that identifies the cultivar with improved survival and reproduction rate. Such crops can withstand infection and pest infestation, guaranteeing a safer and healthier crop yield.
“Let’s keep discovering other ways of pest and disease management for our crops,” Luiza Vickers advises. “We can eliminate the need for pesticides so long as we dedicate our efforts to safe and sustainable farming for all.”