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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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Agricultural pest control programmes, food security and safety

SC Eze, BC Echezona

Abstract


Agricultural pest management control strategies are primarily concerned with food security and safety. Popular pest control methods include application of synthetic pesticides, biopesticides (plant extracts), non-chemical pest management and integrated pest management (IPM). The resistance of some of the pests to the chemical pesticides, coupled with potential health hazards on the environment gave birth to a search for botanicals as alternatives to synthetic pesticides. Botanicals as biopesticides were, though effective but their shelf lives and specific actions on the target organisms have not been determined. Non-chemical pest control methods involve common cultural practices which include crop rotation, tillage, and varying time of planting or harvesting, trap cropping which appear to be the best in terms of food safety and quality but the ability of this approach to reduce pest population may be minimal. Because no single pest control method can guarantee food security and
safety, integrated pest management (IPM) approach appears to hold promise. The IPM is an ecologically based approach that combines all the available pest control methods to manage pest damage by the most economical means, with the fewest possible hazards to life, property and environment. However, this review shows that the impact of integrated pest management in the rural farm communities is low. In an era of growing consumer awareness and sophistication, food quality is being emphasized. Food safety means that the agro-products should be free from pesticide
residues:- therefore, aspects of farm management such as sources of seeds and seedlings, pests and weed elimination, pesticide application dates, dates and amount of fertilization, harvesting or post harvest treatments and basic information regarding the individual farmer or marketing agents activities should be certified before consuming agricultural products. Federal governments especially in developing
countries are advised to mount regulating Agencies that will be responsible for a number of activities that contribute to food security and safety, water quality and pesticide applicator training as practiced in the United States of America, India and Indonesia. The agencies will ensure that the public is protected from potential health risks posed by pesticide treated foods.



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