Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sprayers (3)

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Theobroma cacao, aka the cocoa tree, is highly susceptible to disease. Traditionally, threats to yield or its very existence are treated chemically using 1), fungicides; 2), insecticides; or 3) fertilizers.

1) IMG_4004_Sprayers.jpg
Spraying is done by the Ghanaian government and is controlled by the Cocobod (pronounced cocoa board). These men are probably employees of the Cocobod and are properly attired, as sprays, especially insecticides, damage the human nervous system. Contrast this with the Ivorian system illustrated by picture number 2.

2) ChildSprayer.jpg
This is reality in Cote d'Ivoire, where children often spray the cocoa trees in order to earn money for their families. This enterprising young man is off to spray the trees of one of his clients. Note that he has no protective clothing whatever, which means that probably in a few years, he will start to suffer the consequences of prolonged exposure to a nerve poison. The Ivorian government does not pay attention to this very serious issue. Fair Trade certified cocoa products come from cooperatives that monitor the use of chemicals, ensuring that one of the WFCL (worst forms of child labor), spraying trees, is not practiced. There are other, safer ways for children to pay for their school education.

3) IMG_4006.jpg
A commonly used inseticide, Thiamethoxam, manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss multinational.

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