Towards Pesticide Smart Agriculture using System Thinking and Precision Farming


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Pesticides play a major role in agricultural production, they are extensively used in modern agriculture (Sharma et al., 2019). Farmers have continuously relied on pesticides to control pests and diseases and have tremendously increased the production of food (Olowoyo, 2017; Tudi et al., 2021). The use of pesticides remains an effective and economical way to improve the quality and quantity of food production (Sharma et al., 2019). Globally, about 3 million tonnes of pesticide are utilized annually, where China contributes the most, followed by the USA and Argentina (Pariona, 2017; Sharma et al., 2019; Statista, 2023). Despite the contribution of pesticides to agricultural production, indiscriminate usage poses serious consequences to human health and the environment (Olowoyo & Deji, 2017; Sharma et al., 2019). Evidence in the last few decades has shown that they could also be detrimental to human health from food contamination due to pesticide residues, posing threats to the health of the farmers who apply the pesticides as well as the environment (Olowoyo & Deji 2017; Sosan & Akingbohungbe, 2009). In addressing the challenges associated with indiscriminate pesticide usage, the ICEBERG, a tool for guiding systemic thinking, becomes crucial for identifying the root causes of these problems. Similarly, precision farming technologies offer a solution by empowering farmers to make informed decisions in the judicious utilization of agricultural inputs. This dual approach aims to balance the need for increased agricultural productivity with the imperative of minimizing adverse impacts on human health and the environment.