1. What are the risks of using pesticides?
2. What are the benefits to using pesticides?
3. Are there any alternatives to using chemical pesticides?
4. Develop a plan of action for this country? What are your final recommendations for this country on pesticide use?
The benefits of using pesticides are larger harvests for farmers. This makes farming more efficient, and fewer acres need to be cultivated. food and fiber are subject to damage by pests in every stage of production, transportation and storage. Weeds cause extensive crop losses (see http://www.smallgrains.org/springwh/June03/survey/survey.htm).
During the last 50 years or so, chemical synthesis of pesticides has increased considerably. Now, there are more than 55 classes and 1,500 individual substances produced for pesticide use. Pesticides can be classified as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, bactericides, algacides, etc. depending on the pests they target.
The risk of using a pesticide depends on what type it is. Pest controls fall into three major categories: chemical, physical, and biological. Chemical is by far the most widely used, primarily because of its affordability. Chemical controls can be classified into three groups: inorganic, synthetic organic, and natural organic.
Note the different uses of the words "organic" here, which can be confusing. Organic farming is a component of sustainable living, and generally uses no pesticides at all. However when it does, these are "natural" such as neem oil. "Organic" is also a chemistry term, which is the way it is meant with the term "synthetic organic." ...