Literature Review

Topics: Pesticide, Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago Pages: 14 (3474 words) Published: September 26, 2014
“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 (FAO) 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. (FAO, 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). Organisations such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 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 in the future (CSIRO, 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 colour. Wax scales are common for infesting the citrus industry or sector for example, Florida’s citrus orchard feeding on the plant sap and excreting a substance called honeydew which is like a sooty mold or fungus turning leaves black (Texas A&M AgriLife 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 the 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 steelblue ladybirds known by the scientific name as Halmus chalybeus (P. L. Lo, 2004). Steelblue ladybirds is an Australian beetle metallic blue in colour introduced into New Zealand and Hawaii 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 citrus containing pests, particularly insects as well as the steelblue 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 organophosphates and pyrethoids used one of which was diazinon, on one field had a high toxicity level on the steelblue ladybirds and was highly disruptive to the biological control of scale insects meaning the steelblue ladybirds died by just walking over freshly sprayed leaves and ingesting treated scales as well as killing the wax scale insects. However, while the insects as well as the steelblue 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...

References: 1. Agne, S., Fleischer, G., Jungbuth, F., Waibel, H., 1995. Guidelines for Pesticide Policy Studies. Hannover, Germany.
4. CSIRO, 2013. Developing new country level policy options to enable West Africa’s food security. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: October 2013].
6. Dent, D., 2005. Insect Pest Management. 2nd ed. United Kingdom.
8. IndexMundi, 2013. Trinidad and Tobago Wheat Imports by Year. [Online] Available at: [Acessed October 2013].
12. Ministry of Legal Affairs, 2011. Laws of Trinidad and Tobago: Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Act [Online] Available at: [Accessed August 2013]
18. Queensland Government, 2002. Carbamate Insecticides. [Online] Available at: [Accessed August 2013].
20. Solomon Star News, 2010. Why food security is important. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: October 2013].
24. University of California, 2013. Citrus: Selectivity of Insecticides and Miticides. [Online] Available at: [Accessed October 2013].
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