defined as the any substance or mixture of intended for preventing, destroying,
attracting, repelling, or controlling any pest including unwanted species of
plants or animals during the production, storage, transport, distribution, and
processing of food, agricultural commodities, or animal feeds or which may be
administered to animals for the control of ecto parasites.
introduction of pesticides in agriculture has helped to increase productivity
and has thus contributed to steadily rising food production since the Second
World War (Barbash, 2006). The use of fungicides and insecticides has led to
increased yields in arable farming, and the use of herbicides has reduced the
need for manual labor. In addition, pesticides make it possible to avoid losses
during storage of the products. Pesticides thus have many applications that
affect the production and consumption of the means of production in a number of
ways. Besides, the controlled use of pesticides has contributed to our health
through control of certain vector-borne disease such as malaria.
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contribute tremendously to the economy of the developing countries, especially
those in tropical regions seeking to enter the global economy by providing
off-season fresh fruits and vegetables to countries in more temperate climates.
These developing nations are becoming important “breadbaskets” to the world,
being capable of growing two or even three crops each year (Ecobichon, 2001).
However, these goals cannot be achieved without the increased use of pesticide,
principally insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, which are not used as
extensively in traditional agricultural practices.
developing nations are undergoing a transition from an agrarian economy to an
industrialized society, with migration of the skilled agricultural workforce to
urban centers in search of increasing economic prosperity. In Malaysia, between
the years 1990 and 2005, the number of people involved in agriculture declined
from 26.0% to about 14.6% (Global Market Info. Database,2006). Such demographic
shifts in the workforce introduce several major problems: (a) division of the
workforce, the less educationally advantaged remaining on the farms. (b)
increased domestic food production by fewer individuals; (c) production of additional
food to support the urbanized workforce, frequently requiring changes to
alternative agricultural methods,
greenhouses, mechanized rather than labor-intensive practices; (d) attraction of growing non-traditional export product
as a means of increasing farm income and earning valuable foreign currency for
the country (Ecobichon, 2001). These problems cannot be addressed without the increased use of pesticides and
fertilizers, introducing predictable product and environmental contamination
accompanied by real and potentialadversehealth effects inthe agriculturalworkforceandtheir familie,aswell
local and global consumers.