“The earth, that’s nature’s mother, is her tomb. What Is her burying grave Is her womb. ” Shakespeare, W. , 1597 According to the World Food Summit in 1996, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAA) of the united Nations states that food security exists when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. (FAA, 2006) Ensuring food security within a country is vital as it ensures each individual especially the less fortunate are provided with nutritious food staples preventing hunger, starvation and malnutrition.
Some Governments create a food security policy to prevent starvation especially when the country possess sufficient land to grow own food and decrease importation to increase economic growth, incomes and ensuring the food grown or produced Is of a safe and reliable standard for consuming (Solomon Star News, 2010). Organizations such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CAIRO) funded by corporations for example the Australian Agency are currently In the process of guiding West Africa In developing a set of national policies to Improve food security n the future (CAIRO, 2013).
Farmers consider pests to be any foreign specie or organism in or around agriculture produce damaging, killing and Jeopardizing the outcome of the expected fully grown produce resulting in wasted crop yields hindering the quality and quantity for example mites, insects and snails. Wax scales are a group of different insects or pests with wax coatings with thick layers which are grey, white or beige in color. Wax scales are common for infesting the citrus industry or sector for example.
Florist’s citrus orchard feeding on the plant sap and excreting a substance called honeydew which is like a sotto mold or fungus turning leaves black (Texas A Gargling Extension, n. D. ). The wax scales’ secretion or fungus reduces photosynthesis and fruit yields disfiguring fruits (P. L. Lo, 2004). This will result in lower crops or produce for farmers in the citrus sector, lower incomes and a reduction in the availability of citrus for the public Jeopardizing the citrus farmers’ reputation and sales furthermore cost of living.
Farmers will resort to the use of pesticides containing chemicals to kill or rid of these pests unconcerned about he side effects on their own health from spraying pesticide chemicals or the health of the public consuming the citrus after it yields. A study in New Zealand with the Horticulture and Research institute was conducted illustrating the toxicity levels of pesticides used with stubble ladybirds known by the scientific name as Hall’s Aeschylus (P. L. Lo, 2004).
Stubble ladybirds Is an Australian beetle metallic blue In color Introduced Into New Zealand and Hall as It preys on wax scales, mites and other types of insects (T. E. R:R. A. I. N, 2011). The study involved two separate fields of thrust containing pests, particularly insects as well as the stubble ladybirds. One field was sprayed with pesticides including fungicides and insecticides to rid of the pests and the other was not sprayed or tampered with pesticides over a period of months for research. (P. L.
Lo, 2004) Results showed that the pesticides containing archaeopteryx’s and portholes used one of which was Dalton, on one field had biological control of scale insects meaning the stubble ladybirds died by Just walking over freshly sprayed leaves and ingesting treated scales as well as killing the ax scale insects. However, while the insects as well as the stubble ladybirds died along with the larvae, the fungus created from the honeydew already excreted by the wax scales remained and continued to infect and disfigure the yield.
Whereas the field without pesticides had better yields as insecticides were not used to kill the stubble ladybirds which feed on the wax scales resulting in little or no fungus to kill the citrus of the yield. (P. L. Lo,2004) In support of an alternative, there are other methods or techniques which exist to rid of pests for example the use of organisms such as the stubble ladybird which are not considered by the Government. However, Government rather use pesticides as it is less time consuming and faster in ridding the pests increasing cost in the long-term when more produce is available to the public in a short space of time.
As a solution integrated pest management techniques or methods should be adopted to aid in controlling or suppressing pests with the techniques or methods used having a minimal impact on human health (Louisville Horticulture and Forestry Advisory Board, n. D. ). According to the management of pests and diseases manual provided for home gardeners, cultural practices for preventing pests advised are mixed cropping, weeding, crop rotation and biological practices advised are use of living organisms such as frogs and spiders to control pests in home grown gardens (Ministry of Food Production, 2012).
However in conventional farming or farming in large quantities to sell in local markets and for export, farmers make use of pesticides in addition to cultural farming practices to quickly eradicate pests ignoring the definition and impacts of food security. Hence, while farmers are experiencing a large increase in production and making profits, the public purchasing the produce are slowly destroying nervous and respiratory systems or their health on the whole which can eventually lead to death through the consumption of citrus fruits available for purchase as a result of the current farming practices.
Therefore the techniques for home gardeners published by MOPPET are not what is currently used by our farmers in the fields producing the yields available to the public at markets for the reason being more produce for more profits on limited land space. Chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers used in agriculture were reinvented from the chemicals ammonium nitrate and orchestrating nerve gas used to make weapons during World War II in the United States of America (Levine, M. 2007). (Cox,J. , 2008) stated that statistic reports from the Environmental Protection Agency showed 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides are carcinogenic, cancer causing agents. Jeff Cox’s published book displays statistics from organizations or associations concerned with what we are consuming and is making an attempt to find and instigate alternatives as a way of healthier living for the future and the benefit of our bodies.
The first types of pesticides were sulfur compounds developed as fungicides and arsenic compounds such as chlorides as insecticides (Levine, M. , 2007). These substances are extremely toxic. For the past decades agriculture production increased immensely throughout countries worldwide for farmers as a result of the use of pesticides instead of experiencing an increase in crop losses. Availability of an abundance of food allowing the use of the chemically contained pesticides and formulating policies for usage.
Governments’ urgency and interest in the abundance for food blindsided the methods used and chemicals used to obtain the abundance and the health concerns which will be created in the long-term as a result of the decisions made for example, there will be a drastic increase in health concerns and need for facilities to aid these new health concerns from the side effects of the chemicals used in farming and the produced consumed from those practices.
The levels of actual crop losses due to pests can only be estimated as it would be a severe loss for farmers’ profits and the economic state of Governments as ell as an increase in poverty and hunger (Agene S. Teal. , 1995). In T&T,sugar cane was the first crop due to the country undulated hills making it the primary cash crop of colonial agriculture of the Caribbean used for export to foreign markets providing tropical produce (Mint, 1966). Other crops produced and exported under the colonial rule were cotton, cocoa, coffee and citrus fruits.
Today after independence, Trinidad and Tobago continues to export agriculture produce as well as depend heavily on imports for example wheat is imported from the United States of America where statistics show Trinidad and Tobago importing higher levels of heat within the years 2008 to 2013 as compared to the previous years, sourced by the United States Department of Agriculture (Undermine, 2013). A well-known company in the U. S for chemically and genetically engineering crops encouraging the usage of pesticides with high contents of chemicals is the Monsanto Company.
Monsanto Company is one of the leading developers and providers of genetically engineered products and other chemical products and substances internationally. One of the many commitments Monsanto abide by is creating new ways of improving traditional plant breeding through biotechnology. For example, Monsanto plant scientists will determine specific traits in a corn plant’s genetic map isolating the right gene and transferring it into another plant in order to produce a new generation of plants that have the beneficial characteristics we want (Monsanto Company, n. D. ). Caribbean Chemicals and Agencies Ltd. s a company in Trinidad and Tobago providing local farmers with agricultural or crop supplies. According to the Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Act of Trinidad and Tobago there are specific rules and regulations to import pesticides within the country along with obtaining an import science and registering for imports (Ministry of Legal Affairs, 2011). Pesticides are not manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago and instead are imported from countries for example United States of America. The EPA reported that in the United States 4. 9 billion pounds of pesticide products were used throughout 2001 , equivalent to 4. 5 pounds per person.
Approximately 888 million pounds of active ingredients and 600 different chemical compounds were included in these pesticides (U. S EPA, 2004). The statistics of this report clearly demonstrates the consistent and heavy use of suicides used and is imported into Trinidad and Tobago. The Pesticide Control Board a statutory body under the Ministry of Agriculture has established the provision of the Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Act. Controlling the importation, sale of pesticides and usage registering over 700 pesticide substances for import and sale within Trinidad and Tobago with limited attention to the concerns of food security. Hat is has a limit to the number of pesticides allowed and a list of the pesticides allowed so as to prevent the various types or an overload, excessive use and misuse f the chemical products within the country. However, disadvantages are increased expenses for importation, tax and freight fees and most importantly as the Act is created to limit and control the use of the pesticides it is still permitting entry of highly toxic pesticides possessing dangers to human health for example, cancer for use in the country.
The farming certification and monitoring programmer document oft states that farmers and the farm in use ought to be certified with inspections at least once per month by field officers. Another main responsibility listed of farmers s keeping updated records of all chemicals used on crop and farm while restraining from use of chemicals that are listed as ‘banned for use’ in the protocol. Under the same farming certification and monitoring programmer document on of the exporter’s responsibility is to produce all chemical usage records (NEMATODE, n. D).
This proves the access and use of chemicals mainly found in pesticides for agriculture within Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the most used pesticide brand names in Trinidad and Tobago are addition and alienate (De Lloyd, D. , n. D). The major groups of pesticides r chemicals found in the pesticides used in conventional farming are organogenesis, archaeopteryx’s and cerebrates (Levine, M. , 2007). Organogenesis are made up of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine which break down slowly lingering in the environment and the human body for long periods, even prohibited usage (Levine, M. 2007). A major brand of organogenesis used is EDT (Dichloride deepened theoretician) which is claimed as an insecticide to cure every pest issue. Organogenesis leave residue on food, contaminating the human body as well animals as it builds up in the fatty tissue. Exposure results in immune disorders, angers and can also be passed on to offspring in breast milk. This chemical affects the nervous system disturbing the calcium, potassium, sodium and chloride in the body. Organogenesis would remain lingering in the human body many years after usage has stopped.
In most countries the manufacture and use of organogenesis have been prohibited however, they are still manufactured and used in developing countries (Dent, D. , 2005). Archaeopteryx’s do not linger or remain in the environment but are extremely toxic to the human body as they were developed and used in nerve gases for military use in the sass’s. This chemical will attack the nervous system constraining an enzyme known as psychotherapist’s causing an overestimation of the nervous system resulting in neurological disorder as it performs similar actions to the nerve gas.
Children are more susceptible as their systems and bodies are young and developing (Than, K. , 2013). Exposures to archaeopteryx’s throughout pregnancy can cause brain defects, abnormal low brain weight and issues in development (Cox, J. , 2008). Short-term exposure causes headaches, twitching, nausea, paralysis of the diaphragm causing breathing problems, and excess salivation (PAN, n. . ). Long-term exposure results in Parkinson disease, cancer, developmental and birth defects and death (PAN, n. D. ). (See appendix for pesticides used in Trinidad and Tobago).
A pivotal and distressing study called the Children’s Pesticide Exposure Study (SPECS) was conducted to measure the pesticide residue in our duplicate foods consumed by a group Washington food samples and 15% of the Georgia food samples contained either archaeopteryx’s or parathyroid pesticide residues, chemicals found in pesticides. Most pesticide contaminated food items tested and survey in the years 2008 to 2009 re lettuce, celery, apples, strawberries, cherries and peaches, Just to name a few. (Lu, C. , et al. 2010) The SPECS tested was effective in discovering and displaying the levels of pesticides found in the fruits and vegetables consumed by our younger generation today however, the focus was only within the U. S and on children when adults too are affected. The citrus sector was not reviewed and tested in comparison to the fruits found in the Caribbean where there may be differences in the soil used and climate affecting growth of specific citrus grown in the U. S as compared to T. These differences can have an impact on decisions for pesticides used and expenses made.
Cerebrates are similar in formulation, function attacking the nervous system and toxic effects to the archaeopteryx’s but are less toxic as compared to archaeopteryx’s. Cerebrates may be absorbed through the pores in the skin, inhaled or ingested causing headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and weakness with short-term exposure and can be recovered within hours. Long term exposure results abdominal pain, incrimination, profuse sweating, muscle dysfunction, visual difficulties, breathing difficulties or changes in the pulse rate (Queensland
Government, 2002). (See appendix for pesticides used in Trinidad and Tobago). The citrus sector is a major industry within the Caribbean as the temperatures are much warmer with the climates of the tropical islands being more suitable to grow citrus such as oranges, lemons, bananas and grapefruits Just to name a few. There is on average more levels of rainfall occurring in the Caribbean as compared to the U. S and other countries which is required to grow and fertilize citrus.
The soil in the Caribbean is much richer in content and minerals required for citrus produce to survive resulting in healthy yields. However, with the citrus sector there are diseases and pests both above and underground which are attracted by the citrus produce making this an issue for farmers. Above ground there are issues of mites, citrus trips, citrus cutworms and fungal or bacterial diseases. Underground issues are root or foot rot and viruses such as treaties and exorcists (Atwood, R. , n. D. ).