Comments About The Best Control
From: "Padma Rajagopal" <email@example.com>
Cc: "Toxics Link Delhi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "Toxics Link Delhi"
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Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: [etoxic] Tough Action Needed vs Pesticide Use, Exports
Hi Almitra Patel, Ravi Agarwal and others, the most comprehensive compilation of safe alternatives to chemical pesticides that I've come across so far is an e-book (CD rom) called "The Best Control" written by Steve Tvedten, an American who's been working on this subject for many years. The Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems(CIKS), Chennai, also has a good series of booklets - "Plants in Pest Control", on herbal alternatives.
As an organic farmer for over 13 years, I can say definitely that the non-use of chemicals, lots of organic matter going into the soil and an avoidance of mono-cultural practices generally makes serious pest problems go away. Like any other organism, healthy, pest and disease resistant plants thrive in a healthy environment. Alternatives exist to our poisoning the earth and ourselves like idiots. Obviously, they will not be promoted by the people who now make vast sums of money by manufacturing, marketing, or getting kickbacks for signing large purchase orders for agro-chemicals.
A neem and/or custard-apple tree in your environs can help you solve most of the insect pest problems you come across, for only the cost of the time you spend preparing these safe pesticides. For those who have the option, I'd suggest - eat organic. You are not only saving yourself from pesticides, you're also supporting and rewarding organic farmers with your custom, and by creating a larger demand for organic food, you'll be encouraging more local farmers to consider going organic. Try asking at your local supermarket whether they can supply you with organically grown produce. If enough people ask, they will.
Also, city dwellers could try to segregate their garbage (biodegradable and non-biodegradable) and organize with other urbanites to send the segregated organic garbage for composting to the countryside. Any organic farmer who has a vehicle would be glad to come and pick it up occasionally, if it's been segregated first. If everybody did that, farmers would not need to use chemical fertilizers, or the excess irrigation water or chemical pesticides that chemically fertilized plants need. It will also make garbage management a feasible task for city corporations. Everything's interconnected in the circle of life, but modern humans need to recognize the fact.