Agriculture Practices Have Significant Impact Research Paper

Pages: 10 (2754 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Government should also encourage mariculture and aquaculture. There is also a need of improving current legislation on that matter. Coffee plantations require excessive use of water which is creating negative impacts on the environment. It's the responsibility of government to take initiatives and support farmers to grow the coffee under canopy shad. Government should also pass regulation regarding treatment of waste (both liquid and solid).

Pineapple Plantation

The production and export of Pineapple has multiplied all over the world. The major environmental issues in pineapple plantation are:

On average a worker in the pineapple plantation works for 10-12 hours earning a meager $1 - $2 per hour

Toxic chemicals exposition to the workers because of the use of pesticides and fertilizers such as Diuron in Costa Rica has increased and since the workers do not wear any protective gear they are continuously exposed to the hazardous chemicals which cause side effects like allergy, nausea, skin rashes and more serious long-term conditions

Pineapple Plantation in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the Pineapple plantation started about 60 years ago and at the moment it is the biggest agricultural export of Costa Rica after bananas. Its production and supply has increased in the last two decades. 51% of Costa Rican exports went to North America and 49% to Europe in 2006 and is mounting rapidly in the north of Costa Rica, increasing its value. Pineapple exports in 2007 grew to $484.5 million from $142 million in 2001. The Costa Rica exports pineapple to U.S. amounting to 90% of U.S. pineapple imports.

NEGATIVE IMPACTS FROM PINEAPPLE PLANTATION

Use of Pesticides & Chemicals Are Hazard To Health

There are number of health risks associated with use of pesticides for pineapple plantation. Because the pineapple exports as well as demand have increased, the people of Costa Rica have become more vulnerable to harmful effects of the pesticides. The intensive use of pesticides has far reaching effects, not only on the workers who are directly exposed, but on neighboring communities, land, and local ecosystems. The workers get exposed to the chemicals at the first stage of pineapple plantation "Maintenance of Crops" when the fertilizers and pesticides are used and at the last stage of "Packing and Storage" when fumigation is done. The fertilizers, pesticides and fumigation material, all three of them contain various hazardous chemicals. The pests and diseases that occur are Rot root, Thrips, Meally bugs and Nematodes

The pesticides used include Bromaci, Malaise, Diuron, Cholinesterase and Endosulfan which cause eye, nose, skin and throat irritation, redness and itching of the eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, and redness, dehydration, skin cracking, nervous system and respiratory effects such as suicides, unplanned deaths and seizures, fainting, convulsions, disturbance, may increase risk of autism, delay puberty in boys, and cause birth defects of the male reproductive system, muscle twitching, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Contaminated Water

According to the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers in 2008, over 6,000 people in fruit production region of Siquirres, Costa Rica had been drinking water contaminated with pesticides Bromacil, Duiron, and Tradimefon from surrounding plantations (Castillo, Martinez, Ruepert, Savage, Gilek, & Pinnock, 2006).

The companies dispose its liquid wastes through a canal into a waste basin, which then flows directly to a river. People in these areas cannot drink the water available in the wells because of its repulsive taste since it is contaminate with chemicals and, they also suffer from various illness caused by those pesticides. Farm animals also drink chemically contaminated water that, in turn, is consumed by locals as they drink milk produced by these cattle.

Marine Life Interrupted

Most of the companies throw their waste materials in the water which disturbs the marine life and also kills hundreds and thousands of organisms living under the surface. Every year, hundreds of fish turn up dead in the bed of the Tejona gully -- tributary of the San Carlos River -- where it passes through San Jorge de Cutris (northern zone).

Soil Deterioration

The soil through erosion has worsened whereas activity of microbiological nature has deteriorated. The wastes run-off from the planting area causes erosion. The intensive use of herbicides and fungicides, used to combat pests to which the crop is susceptible causes soil deterioration and also kill the pathogens, and other species living in the soil, even those which do not have any harmful effects on the pineapple.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Organic Farming techniques

There is always a chance of possible contamination of soil, water or air. Growing pineapple organically is a challenge but there is no doubt that it increases the quality of the crops grown and also prevents the use of pesticides or fertilizers that harm the marine and terrestrial environment (Farmer to Farmer Program Guyana Organic Pineapple Project).

Recycling

Recycling of plant eradicates the use of fertilizers and the crops. The waste from pineapple plantation is recycled and is used to produce the organic compost.

No-Till System and Mulch Farming Technique

Mulch farming techniques and No-Till System is said to decrease soil erosion and run-off. Soil erosion is one of the factors responsible for a quick decline in the crop yield. No-Till is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. It increases the amount of water and nutrients in the soil and also helps to decrease erosion. The Mulch Technique is a way of applying a layer of crop residue on the soil surface which increases its nutrient strength, increases activity and species diversity etc. But the accomplishment of No-Till System and Mulch technique both depends on the amount and strength of the crop residue mulch, slope gradient, on soil erode-ability and hydrological properties, and on crop characteristics.

Conclusion

Governments, including Costa Rican, usually favor the interests of multinational companies, and oversee the damages, threats and hazards to the environment, its people, created due to plantation of various vegetables and fruits which is not right. Government just focuses on the profitability rather than saving the environment. Governments need to impose and enforce environmental regulations as the industry rapidly expands.

References

Astorga, Y. The Environmental Impact of the Banana Industry. A Case Study of Costa Rica, retrieved June 11, 2011 from http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:8pYZP3bM_M0J:www.bananalink.org.uk/documents/Current_Environmental_Impact_by_Y_Astorga.doc+The+Environmental+Impact+of+the+Banana+Industry&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us.

Banana plantations in Latin America . World Rainforest Movement. Retrieved June 11, 2011, from http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/85/banana.html

Costa Rica Analysis . Retrieved June 11, 2011, from http://www.mcatoolkit.org/Country_Analyses/Costa_Rica.html

Costa Rica Launches Groundbreaking Environmental Initiative. (2010, oct 15). The nature conservancy, Retrieved June 11, 2011, from http://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/media/pressreleases/costa-rica-launches-groundbreaking-environmental-initiative.xml

Castillo, L.E., Martinez, E., Ruepert, C., Savage, C., Gilek, M., & Pinnock, M. (2006). Water quality and macro invertebrate community response following pesticide applications in a banana plantation, Limon, Costa Rica. Science of The Total Environment, 367(1), 418-432.

Farmer to Farmer Program Guyana Organic Pineapple Project. Partners of the Americas. Retrieved June 11, 2011 from http://www.partners.net/Images/partners/What_We_Do/FTF/Success_Stories/Guyana%20Pineapple%20Project.pdf

Morton, J. (1987). Banana. In: Fruits of Warm Climates, retrieved June 11, 2011 from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/banana.html

Organic Farming in the Tropics and Subtropics. Exemplary Description of 20 Crops. Naturland. Retrieved June 11, 2011 from http://www.naturland.de/fileadmin/MDB/documents/Publication/English/pineapple.pdf

The Environmental Impact of Banana Plantations. Retrieved June 11, 2011, from http://www.plu.edu/~bananas/environmental/home.html

Worobetz, K. (2000). Loss of Biodiversity is a Critical Issue. Department of Biological Sciences. University of Alberta. [END OF PREVIEW]

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