Whatever the rights, wrongs or inevitability of child labour, especially in rural areas, no-one would wish to see a child suffer ill health through mis-use of pesticides. And yet this is a real, continuing and probably increasing risk. What, realistically, can be done to ensure children are better protected? When a beekeeper takes his hives to an orchard, or to a field full of crops in flower, a contract is agreed with the owner of the crops that no chemicals be applied that could harm the bees. When one considers that Crop Pollination by Bees is of inestimable value, this makes sense. So, why does one see pregnant women and children working in fields that have just been sprayed?
There are definitely no pesticides in this month's Perspective on development aid and the frustrations felt by producers wanting to satisfy Europe's rapidly increasing demand for organic vegetables. And, although 'Is Anybody Listening?' is the cry of those who feel ignored our Developments article of this title shows that those who listen, and take note of what they hear, are selective and discerning. The same is undoubtedly true of readers of New Agriculturist.
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