More to farming advancement in Africa than unity

Editor’s note: This letter is a response to a previous article, “College of ACES to join in on agricultural education program,” published in the Dec. 2, 2013, edition of The Daily Illini. 

The writer, Miranda Holloway, describes the potential advancement of African farming based on educational improvements and unison among farmers. 

The article states the importance of helping farmers improve their methods to shift from subsistent to commercial farming. The article fails to recognize the idea that competing at a commercial level would not help the situation in Africa. Before any idea of international competition can be approached, the long term effects of pesticide use needs to be taken into account.

Research has proven that continual use of pesticides has various negative effects including harm to the environment, people, wildlife, consumers and a culminated link between these chemicals and cancer. Commercial competition would lead to increased use of pesticides, which would continue to contribute negative effects.

Holloway believes farmers can maximize their production to compete at a commercial level. However, this article fails to address the long-term effect of intense commercial farming and the effects of pesticides.

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Abby Ohrnstein,

freshman in LAS