PAKISTAN is an agricultural country where different crops are cultivated according to the season and the region. Some of the major crops grown here include cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, banana and sunflower. But how do we protect and safeguard them from harmful pests and diseases?
Being a plant protectionist, I would suggest that we should apply and use all safeguard measures which have been recommended by experts.
Chemical control is visibly giving fast results. That is why farmers and landlords use mostly chemicals compared to other controls.
However, unnecessary use of pesticides is proving to be extremely harmful for the health of the people and other living organisms.
According to integrated pest management (IPM), if a crop has reached economic injury level, then control measures should be applied.
Growers are still not taking bio-control activities seriously. Neem extract is giving good results and with the use of plant extract we can save useful insects and repel harmful insects from the fields.
The unnecessary use of pesticides should be avoided at all costs as it is harmful for our eco-system, health, and agriculture.
There are various side-effects of pesticides as they can be harmful to people, animals and the environment because they are designed to kill or harm living organisms. Pesticide residue on the food you eat can have an effect on your health. Though the government regulates pesticide use, residues are still found in our food supply. Besides, organophosphates have also been shown to affect the nervous system.
According to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, signs of an affected nervous system include excess salivation, stomach pain, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea.
The highest quantity of pesticides is found on celery, peaches, berries, apples, peppers, green vegetables, grapes and potatoes. Eating these commercially grown foods frequently might increase exposure to diseases.
We should try to use biological control as many Asian countries have benefited from biotechnology in recent years.
The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.
The use of IPM programme is current. It gives comprehensive information on the lifecycle of pests and their interaction with the environment. It can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden and workplace. It takes advantage of all appropriate pest-management options, including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides.
In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM but limits the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.
It is time the unnecessary use of pesticides were avoided because poison is poison. Besides, health is wealth so we should know better what not to use at all.
SHEERAZ NIZAMANI Karachi