Brazil is the largest consumer of pesticides in the world.

Exponential growth in the global population is accompanied by an increased demand for food thereby putting a strain on limited global resources. This provides a challenge to the agricultural sector: to produce more food, with limited land available for cultivation, in a short period of time. Therefore, investing in pesticides appears to be the short-cut solution as it ensures productivity. However, there is a growing environmental awareness and a search for sustainable processes to enable a reduction in the use of pesticides on a global scale. It has been proven that excess use of pesticides is harmful to human health. The effects also have economic repercussions. Agriculture production laden with toxins affects not only the domestic market but also international markets via exports. Countries increasingly condemn the use of pesticides and consumers increasingly prefer to consume organic food than products grown with chemicals.

The “Analysis Program of Pesticide Residue in Food”, a project initiated in 2001 by Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), measures the levels of pesticide residue in food samples.


Percentage of food samples that exceed the pesticide residue limit established by ANVISA



Pepper
91.8%

Strawberry
63.4%

Cucumber
57.4%

Lettuce
54.2%

Carrot
49.6%

Pineapple
32.8%

Beet
32.6%

Cabbage
31.9%

Papaya
30.4%

Tomato
16.3%

Orange
12.2%

Apple
8.9%

Rice
7.4%

Beans
6.5%

Cabbage
6.3%

Mango
4.0%

Onion
3.1%

Efficiency of water use

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), 1.1 billion people lack access to water and 2.7 billion people suffer from water shortages for, at least, a month each year.

Agriculture is one of the activities that requires the most amount of water and also wastes a significant amount due to inefficient use and poor utilization systems. Scientists predict that by 2050, agriculture and the food industry will need to increase their water usage by 400% in order to increase production. Therefore, improvements in management are necessary to prevent water waste and create solutions for plants to better utilize their consumption.


Source: Water Footprint