There is a reason that as Kenya has gotten better about feeding itself, none of it is using the "organic" process - that whole market is just 0.69% and is mostly people who wish they had the money for pesticides. The reasons organic food don't work outside places where food is easy to grow involve climate, poor soil, limited water, and pests and diseases that ruin crops.
Those are all things modern science fixes and they are things that anti-science academics getting six-figure salaries at universities on the American coasts say are not real, but instead a corporate conspiracy. The concern about making farmers rebels by telling them not to use science is that they may use too much. Until the 1950s in the US, for example, 'more is better' was common thinking. DDT, for example, was banned in the US by a politician listening to his constituents over the objections of scientists - but the politician who banned it said he had a rationale. Thinner eggshell samples for some birds. And they found that farmers were using more of it than the recommendations. They assumed more would be better.
Sensible people would have engaged in education, but the US government banned it. The irony is that because DDT is safe for everything except pests when used properly, our own EPA then wrote the book on how everyone else could and should continue to use it. Even inside homes. It is still used today, but because Kenya listens to white activists from other countries rather than its own farmers, farmers may end up importing it outside normal channels. And they may not use it properly.
A paper claims that there are 11,000 poisoning deaths attributed to pesticide usage each year. Obviously that isn't a lot, when billions of people farm, clearly unless someone falls into a vat of atrazine and drowns, it is not possible for it to harm them. Or the environment.
Yet safe pesticides like atrazine, glyphosate, or the organic industry's preferred chemical compound, copper sulfate, may not be the issue. Once government forces farmers to be criminals in order to combat mites, fleas, aphids, et al. they may regard all regulations as a way to keep African farmers reliant on large countries Europe. Countries like Norway, Sweden, and Finland, for example, still use paraquat because they have education programs. Government did not ban it. Kenya banned it because vaguely racist anti-science groups like Swiss Public Eye used scaremongering, which means farmers who are stuck with tools that don't work will still buy what does help - but may not be educated on application.
Yet farmers have few allies even in their own country. Much like academics in rich countries, academics in Kenya are content seeing families starve while insisting that biorationals and biological controls are suitable. When history has shown that The Old Ways led to nothing but repeated famine.
Kenya won't be helped by abdicating its science and health policies to European elites. Europeans switched to more organic believing they were buying it from Russia, the same way they pretended their solar and wind policies are working while "charging" emissions to Russia, where they bought all the conventional energy their political alternatives could not provide.
Africa can't do that. The lives they lose using alternatives to science are visible to the whole world. They need to embrace a 'whatever works, used responsibly' approach like Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and South America have, not put their citizens at risk tinkering with academic ideas in some pay-to-publish article in a magazine.
- Agroecology Has Become The New European Colonialism In Africa
- Atrazine And The Forever War On Science
- DFDT: Nazi Cousin Of DDT Has Been 'Rediscovered' But Will People Want It?
- By Engaging In Politicization Of Science, The Biden Administration Will Make Food Even More Expensive
- While Coronavirus Talk Dominates The US, Few Notice 25 Million Africans Being Devastated By Locusts