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Research shows that 64% of the world’s farmland is at risk of pesticide pollution From University of Sydney

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Global agricultural land maps of 168 countries show that 64% of the land used for agriculture and food crops is at risk of pesticide pollution. Nearly a third of these areas are considered to be high-risk areas. The study, published in Nature Geoscience, produced a global model that mapped the pollution risks of 92 pesticides and chemicals commonly used in agriculture in 168 countries.

The study examined the risks to soil, atmosphere, surface water and groundwater. The map also shows that Asia has the largest high pollution risk land, with China, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines having the highest risk. Some of these areas are considered “rice bowl” countries, feeding most of the world’s population.

Dr. don Fiona, research assistant at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study, said that the widespread use of pesticides in agriculture, while increasing productivity, may have potential impacts on the environment, human and animal health. The study shows that 64% of the world’s arable land is at risk of pesticide pollution. This is important because the wider scientific literature has found that pesticide pollution can have adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Pesticides can enter surface water and groundwater through runoff and infiltration, polluting water bodies, thus reducing the availability of water resources. Although agricultural land in Oceania shows the lowest risk of pesticide pollution, Australia’s Murray Darling Basin is considered a high concern area, both due to its water shortage and its high biodiversity. Globally, 34% of high-risk areas are located in high biodiversity areas, 19% in low-income and low-income countries, and 5% in water shortage areas.

People worry that overuse of pesticides will break the balance, destroy the stability of the ecosystem, and reduce the quality of water resources for human and animals. In the case of climate warming, with the growth of global population, it is expected that the use of pesticides will increase to cope with the possible increase of pest invasion and feed more people. Although the protection of food production is crucial to human development, reducing pesticide pollution is also crucial to the protection and maintenance of soil health and functional biodiversity, which contributes to food security.

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