Commentary: Madagascar and world need insecticides
The FAO doesn’t generally like to talk about the pesticide use necessary to control pests or how the lack of money by farmers to buy insecticides leads to reoccurring problems.
“The national Locust Control Center has thus far treated 30 000 hectares of farmland since the six-month rainy season began in October 2012, but some 100 000 hectares that need to be treated haven't been, due to the government's limited capacity,” FAO reports.
Those in the world that don’t have plagues of insects on a regular basis are the ones quick to suggest banning pesticides because they might contaminate the environment, even though pesticides have been proven to be safe, effective and not an environmental concern when properly used.
I wonder if so many farmers use conventional crop production pesticides in the U.S. that insect populations are kept under control so much that neighboring organic farmers don’t have to deal with high insect populations.
The U.S. agricultural industry has sophisticated scouting by ag professionals to recognize early emerging problems and who jump into action with control strategies; this knowledge of scouting does not exist in Madagascar or other third-world agricultural-based economies. But FAO officials know that monitoring and analysis followed by aerial and ground spraying is necessary.