CropLife Africa Middle East, a member of CropLife International, represents the plant science industry and a network of national associations in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The "Plant Science Industry" includes manufacturers and distributors of crop protection products (pesticides) seeds and biotechnology products.
Each acre of U.S. cropland contains 50 to 300 million buried weed seeds.
Benefits of Pesticides and Crop Protection Chemicals
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Crop protection technology -- which includes all pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, as well as biotechnology products --helps control the thousands of weed species, harmful insects and numerous plant diseases that afflict crops.
Without these important crop protection and pest control technologies, U.S. food production would decline, many fruits and vegetables would be in short supply, and the price of food would rise. What’s more, America’s production of important fibers for clothing, such as cotton, would decrease as farmers would lose their harvests and livelihoods to crop pests and diseases.
Learn more about the major benefits of pesticides and their role in food production:
- Increase food production – Crop protection technologies allow U.S. producers to increase crop yields and efficiency of food production processes. Up to 40 percent of the world's potential crop production is already lost annually because of the effects of weeds, pests and diseases. These crop losses would be doubled if existing pesticide uses were abandoned.
- Decrease the cost of food – Because the use of pesticides improves crop yields, crop protection technologies also impact the cost of food. Without crop protection chemicals, food production would decline, many fruits and vegetables would be in short supply and prices would rise. Helping to keep food prices in check for the consumer is another large benefit of pesticides.
- Consumer benefits – Pesticides allow consumers to consume high-quality produce that is free of insect blemishes and insect contamination. Crop protection chemicals that reduce and, in some cases, eliminate, insect damage allow the consumer to purchase high-quality produce free of insect fragments.
Other Benefits of Pest Control
The responsible and safe use of pesticides also benefits:
- Household Pest Control: Pesticide products are used to control termites, roaches, ants, rats and other pests.
- Industry and Infrastructure: Herbicides are used to control vegetation that clogs navigable and other waterways or threatens to obstruct highway, utility and railroad rights of way.
- Recreation areas: Pesticides are used to protect and enhance lawns, gardens, public parks, playing fields, lakes and ponds for public enjoyment.
- Human Health: Many agricultural commodities are vulnerable to attack by aflatoxins and insect control is necessary to prevent its passage from insect to plant. Aflatoxin, a carcinogen, can cause liver and other cancers in humans, lower the body’s normal immune response, and can impair growth in children. Crop protection chemicals are used to control insect damage that leads to aflatoxin contamination.
- For more intofrmation on the benefits of pest control, please visit RISE.