Project Pesticide Management
Hello there, my name is Alfonso Mateo Penas, I am the proud holder of a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Stockholm and have since then accumulated several years of international experience in the fields of plant and agronomic research (academia and industry).
By way of my work at PEAT GmbH I have had the opportunity to travel to Tunisia and India and observe how agricultural practices were carried out in the practice. What shocked me the most from my observations is the poor knowledge farmers have on how to manage, use and dispose of pesticides. In one occasion I saw how a female farmer mixed an powder insecticide with water with her bare hands! I also experienced how pesticide containers were thrown close to a water point that was also use for human consumption. The abuse and misuse of these products has also led to problems with the environment and the development of resistance in teh crops, which at the end of the days reduces the farmer's return.
I have done some research on the subject and wrote a small project on on this subject in relation to a MOOC by the University of Florida (Sustainable Agriculture, see summary below). My question is: does Plant Village recommend pesticide treatments and if it does, does it also organize training courses or awareness campaign on pesticide management?
If it doesn't, is this something that you can consider? I would be open to write a project together with you on the subject. Do not hesitate to contact me.
Project Summary: Chemical pesticides are the product of the green revolution, which, from the 1960´s onward promoted their mass use. The introduction of these products has had major consequences on farming practices and has allowed farmers to increase yields substantially. But in the long run their effect on the environment and on human health has also been subject of concern.
In the particular case of herbicides and insecticides, their massive use (and misuse) has caused a phenomenon called resistance, whereby weeds or insects become resistant to specific products (herbicide vs insecticide resistance). This problem has often been exacerbated by the fact that farmers, for lack of better knowledge, resorted to increase dosages of the product in question to try to solve it, without considering possible rotation or other measures in teh frame of an integrated weed or pest management.
In this project, I am analyzing the source and scope of resistance and discuss the solutions that have been developed over time to solve it, focusing on communication and knowledge-sharing tools and methods. At the end of the day, farmers have to develop their weed or pest eradicating strategies within an ‘Integrated management’ that endorse the use of chemical products alongside other control methods, such as cultural or mechanical techniques.
Posted by: Alfonso Mateo Penas
Posted: January 16, 2019