Africa farmers use killer chemicals to grow food to meet high demands. In a study published by the route to Food Initiative revealed that there is a widespread pesticide use by Kenyan farmers. The substances they are using are banned in countries from Europe, but Kenya Pest Control Products Board approved them.
However, the problem is not in Kenya only. Previous studies have shown the danger that comes along with chemical pesticides that Africa farmers is using. A catalog of research pointed towards a significant health problem that is emerging across Africa. This is as the Agrochemicals firms try to capitalize on agricultural developments and food shortages.
The continent is moving towards a chemical food crisis. This is a similar one, like that one spreading to Southeast Asia. The battle to food supply demands has been tainted due to many food scandals. For example. Rice paddies that are doused into chemicals, shrimp that are injected with silicon, toxic coffee in cafes and selling stores
Capitalizing on a Food Crisis
Syngenta, which is the world’s largest pesticide manufacturer, last year responded to the criticism that was going on. It was said that the company was selling chemicals that the EU already outlawed.
The company CEO Jerk Fyrwald said there without using pesticides, it poses a great risk of food shortages across the world. He defended the policy of his company for selling those products with outlawed chemicals.
The argument of the company seems convenient. That is essentially profiteering from the crisis of food across the world. The most unfortunate thing is that the poorest people in Africa are not only the most vulnerable to the insecurity of food but also the ones that rely most on this cheap chemical-laden food that its production is happening in Africa and other developing countries. They are also vulnerable to the apparent increasing health conditions.
The chemical food conundrum
Pesticides enable farmers to do their farming hence growing more crops while using less land. This also empowers them to expand as well as producing more food. In the end, there is an increasing demand for the volume of pesticides need to sustain productivity.
The concern of many Africa farmers is profit. Conditions of farming are becoming volatile. Likewise, the population in Africa is rapidly growing. This means more people to feed on reducing farmable lands.
Pesticides offer convenient, immediate as well as the profitable solution to many problems. However, they are resulting in children growing up with tainted food from the time they are born.
The long term implications for health is unknown. However, its already known that some of these chemical Africa are using are more likely to cause diseases like miscarriages, cancer, kidney issues, plus several other health conditions.
The most significant part of the problem is a lack of proper understanding amongst the consumers and farmers concerning the appropriate usage of pesticides. This is according to the route to food study.
“Kenyan consumers and farmers are not aware of the extent of pesticide use, their concentrations in food and environment, and their possible effects on the environment and ecosystem services,”
the study explained.
The study also showed that out of the active ingredient used in those pesticides sold in Kenya, a third of them in Europe don’t sell. they cause of cancer and other illness. The report also stated that at least twenty-four products sold in Kenya are in carcinogenic class. This is to means that it can cause damages to genetic mutations. Despite empowering African countries, to grow food, they are as well poising the growing population
How to Avert Chemical Food Crisis
Africa can not escape Food shortages by planting toxic food. Instead, it ends up making Agrichemical firms as well as opportunistic farmers to make huge money. The governments are boosting achievements in agricultural developments while the statistics are glossing over the toxic chemicals that are widespread.
A quick fix that is profitable will only lead to a different type of food crisis. This is where the generations that will grow up eating these toxic foods and, in the end, expose the future generation to a subsequent health-related crisis.
Separate research shows that farmers can reduce the use of pesticide usage without affecting productivity. There is no excuse as to why people should be fed on toxic food.
The governments in Africa and across the world should implement strict regulations on pesticide usage. They should as well educate Africa farmers together with consumers on the best utilization of pesticides . their dangers when misused. They should also teach on the non-chemical ways of achieving food security globally.