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Pesticides and Social Inequity

Pesticides and Social Inequity

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Pesticides and Social Inequity

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  1. Pesticides and Social Inequity

  2. Widening disparity between rich and poor • Increasing landlessness and unemployment • 1980s and switch to non-trad. Ag. • Non-traditional ag.- labor intensive, grown on small land tracts and tend to be highly value so economic stimulant • New development plans put in place • However, failure to address pesticide problems cause same problems as cotton era

  3. Dominican Republic • Nontrad. ag successful- foreign investment • Satellite farming system- individual farmers contract with exporter who provide input credit -nontrad - less structured exporters have little knowledge or control over cultivation practices • Oriental veggie farm use wide range of chemicals • Pest problem- economic loss due to US reg. -pesticide treadmill • Trips palmi- out of control; spider that ate bug was eliminated by pesticides; USDA quaratine

  4. Constanzas Valley- explosion of greenhouse white fly • Azua Valley- blamed small farmers for the pest problems - company applied pesticides for the farmers - after 3 yrs outbreak of cotton whitefly - loss of $5.9 million -several thousand farmers lost jobs

  5. Honduras: Melon Export Boom • 1980s cotton production decreased • Unemployment rate of 60% in male workforce • USAID encouraged melon production • Melons-contract farming or plantation -pesticides applied on calendar schedule • Outbreaks- small farmers blamed; only some admitted frequent pest. applications could be the cause • 1989-1990: 11 applications in 2 months • Small farmers econ losses compounded by policy change

  6. Patsa (largest contractor)-shifted melon from contract to plantation • Overall shift to larger farmers • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)- plant barrier, elimination of carrier plants and selective pest use • Bumper harvest but low prices -small farms couldn’t cover costs -banks resist small farm loans • Options for small farmers limited

  7. Guatemalan Response to Pest Crisis • Increased pest use; increased pest problems; rejection of product by US • Reduce problem- worked with primary exporter and large production association to organize meetings, workshops, field visits and sessions with FDA and EPA • Begins to Pay off – shipment violations drop from 27.3% to 6.6% in one year - unsure if benefiting small farms -Reduction in # of growers and more tech. assistance can deal with regulations more effectively

  8. Non trad- 1980s TNC’s used contract farming to control melon market and squeezed out independent farmers • Pest problem- switch to plantations, only a few farmers hired as managers • Survey of 148 nontrad farmers and 13 exporters -pest contributing to structural change - relationship between grower and exporter determinant of pest usage -small farmers using more and more pest

  9. Pest induced structural change • FDA pressure exporters about residues • Two alternatives: Grow own food or give contracts exclusively to large farmers • Regulation of contract farmers unsuccessful

  10. Exporter and TNC mobility • Larger are better equipped to respond to problems and survive • Key to survival economic resources • Decreased risk by control of export, market phases and contract farms • Anticipate, plan and reinvest in other areas • Vacating exporting magnify problems - unemployment and population movement and redistribution -depression of land prices positive for TNC’s

  11. Conclusion • Pest problem can generate renewed ecological crisis • Fueled econ and social problems- land concentration, farmer impoverishment and displacement • Ignoring the ecological disruption recreates problems trying to overcome • Large scale adapted ecological problems • Some adopted better pest management but success of flexibility and mobility gives little motivation to change