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Laura-Fee Wloka




Tarapoto, Peru


My group and I visited a rice farm near the city of Tarapoto, in the Amazonian region of San Martin. Our research topic involved upgrading value chains and entrepreneurship in the region's agro-processing sector.


The production of rice is water intensive and a high amount of pesticides is used. The quality of Peruvian rice is not particularly high, but the country overproduces due to import quotas. Knowledge of organic farming and the level of technology is low. Shortly before leaving, we saw workers spraying chemicals on the plants. We asked what exactly they were using and the chief of the farm showed us pesticides made by BASF and Monsanto. He also told us that we should go away, as these pesticides are almost certainly toxic and dangerous, and yet his own workers had no masks.


In the picture, one can see young men spraying toxic pesticides. They might have long clothes and a hat, but they inhale the dangerous chemicals directly without any protection. While my group and I had fun and enjoyed many lovely moments, we could not ignore the circumstances of the people working there. It was also suggestive to me in that companies in industrialized countries produce these toxic chemicals that are then used in developing countries in order to remain competitive.

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Taken on May 1, 2017