Rice (Oryza sativa) is the most important and prominent agricultural product of the world. It is also the staple food of at least half of the world’s population, and mainly of that consists of Asians. It is recognized that in Rice, there are certain constraints brought by the presence of various pests, which includes insects, rodents, nematodes, and even birds. Farmers lose a great amount of their yield by the presence of pests and diseases every year. To control these pests, various strategies have been introduced, one of which is through the use of chemical spray as the most common practice throughout different countries. To determine whether to use chemical agents, or other appropriate strategy, pest identification should be done.
Common pesticides used against rice pests include Carbaryl, Copper sulfate pentahydrate, Diflubenzuron, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Malathion and Zeta-cypermethrin. The Carbaryl is a life-long, broad-spectrum pesticide, meaning it is effective against a large variety of organisms, which for example kills insects and some invertebrates. The Copper sulfate pentahydrate and diflubenzuron are narrow-spectrum pesticides, meaning effective against only a limited range of organisms, which have a moderate duration impact, for about few days and two weeks. Lambda-cyhalothrin, sold as Warrior,Zeta-cypermethrin, known as Mustang, and Malathion are all broad-spectrum pesticides used on rice (Boyd, 2015). It was compared that in the Philippines, insecticides were less used than that of the farmers in Vietnam. A large proportion of sprays used in the Philippines were classified ‘hazardous’.
In another KAP study of potential Integrated Pest Management farmer cooperators in Laguna, found out that about 31% of farmers thought that all insects they see are enemies of rice, and most of these farmers spray whenever they see one as they believe that it may damage the crop. But most farmers do not have an concrete procedure in the use of these products, about 73% of the farmers spray when needed, 53% spray for even one insect, while others 24.4% practice calendar spraying, 40% spray pesticides after applying fertilizer, and there are times that a farmer would spray when a neighbor sprays in order to prevent pests from transferring to their farms.
Although there are various concerns with the use of chemical products, some of these concerns would be environment pollution, resistance to pesticides and the aftermath of the application to the rice product itself. It is suggested that reducing the pesticides applications and adopting a different practice against pests. As it contaminates almost all surrounding environment, that may be equally harmful to all your crops and product, thus larger consideration should be given to farmer in protecting their livelihood from these pests.
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