Pesticides: Brazilian agro’s uncomfortable ally

pesticides brazil
Man sprays pesticides. Photo: Commons

In absolute numbers, no other nation consumes more pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and bactericides than Brazil. Latin America’s biggest economy spends USD 10 billion on these products each year, which isn’t, in itself, so surprising. Brazil is one of the world’s largest food producers – especially when it comes to crops such as soybeans, corn, and sugarcane.

Its warm and humid climate, coupled with massive biodiversity, makes Brazil’s plantations more susceptible to pests – as, unlike other countries, Brazil can’t rely on low temperatures as a form of biological control. Plus, swathes of land dominated by monoculture favor the proliferation...

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