We need to make you, our supporters, aware of the dangerous, simmering situation on Armenian farmlands and in the countryside. Again, we need your help – this time, in trying to protect Armenia from the dangers of misused pesticides! The use of improper pesticides, moreover, their incorrect application by uninformed farmers, is contaminating drinking water and the food supply, adversely affecting the health of entire families — particularly, more vulnerable children! At the same time, inadequate or foreign language labeling, or improper use and disposal of pesticide containers is impacting the larger environment, harming fish and wildlife.
Time and again, we have seen, almost everywhere, how pesticides — without proper labeling — are being sold on the open market. Just as we have seen homemade wines being sold, unmarked, on the food stands of Armenia, we also saw pesticides being marketed — without labels – often, in plastic soda-pop bottles! Imagine the immediate danger to health — and the high risk to life — when a child innocently picks up and drinks from a familiar-looking soda bottle! We must ask ourselves, is not a child’s life too precious for the consequences?
Because pesticide containers lack adequate labeling, farmers get little or no information about how to most effectively and safely use pesticides.
At what rate should a particular pesticide be applied, and when should the application be made?
What might be the necessary waiting period for the safe harvesting of a specific crop?
What is the pesticide’s breakdown period?
Will it break down in five days, or in twenty-five days?
In addition, pesticides are sold without safety warnings and farmers applying it have no idea how to determine which pesticides are more toxic than others. Further, should they be wearing protective gear — gloves, masks, overalls?
When it is safe to enter a pesticide treated field?
A main goal of ATG has always been to insure a safe and plentiful food supply for Armenia. We have achieved a great deal — with your help — by assisting farmers in their efforts to grow, multiply and harvest sound crops. Yet, so much remains to be done to improve the wholesomeness of the entire plant-animal-human food chain, among which is the appropriate use, marketing and stewardship of pesticides. We hope to accomplish our further goals through a widening array of programs that educate and support the members of Armenia’s vital agricultural sector.
In this regards, ATG board member Rose Kachadourian, Ph.D. spend several months in Armenia, where she studied the situation and came up with sound recommendations for the farm families to appropriately carry out Pest Management and Handling Practices.