Environmental Impacts of AgroChemicals

Climate-Smart Rice Farming and Environment Smart Rice Farming are being used interchangeably to refer to the system of rice farming that sustainably increases productivity, enhances adaptive capacity and reduces greenhouse gas emissions where possible. 

I was opportune to speak on “Environmental Impact of Chemical and Environmental Smart Rice Farming” at an online webinar by Sustainability Hub “Knowledge Session on Environmental Smart Rice Farming” supported by Share Yourself. These are some knowledge shared at the webinar am sure will interest you. 


Rice farming today is faced with several agronomic and environmental challenges related to the intensification of crop production.

The deceleration in the growth of rice yields, soil depletion, growing water use, increasing water and air pollution as well as climate change are some of the most significant areas of concern.

Feeding people in decades to come will require ingenuity and innovation to produce more food on less land in more sustainable ways.

Climate change will exacerbate tight resource constraints by making weather more extreme and variable and decreasing average yields worldwide.

Population growth, changing diets, and land and water scarcity are long-term trends that threaten our shared vision of a more prosperous future. Well-fed people everywhere can achieve their full potential without damaging their environment.

Environmental Impacts of Chemicals

Inorganic Fertilizers

  • Research suggests that the massive use of inorganic fertilisers worldwide is associated with the accumulation of contaminants, e.g. Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Florine (F), Lead (Pb) and Mercury (Hg) in Agricultural soils.
  • Farmers in developing countries are experiencing, either short-term or long-term, health effects from exposures to agricultural chemicals, including severe symptoms (e.g. headaches, skin rashes, eye irritations) and some chronic effects (e.g. cancer, endocrine disruption, birth defects).


  • Some pesticides are characterised by being very persistent in the environment. They may represent long-term dangers as they biomagnify up the food chain. Humans, particularly breastfed babies, are at the top of the food chain. 
  • Most POPs (persistent organic pollutants) (these will soon be considered persistent toxic substances or PTS) are organochlorine pesticides, namely, Aldrin, Endrin, Chlordane, DDT, Heptachlor, Mirex, Toxaphene and Hexachlorobenzene. They have been banned in developed counties but are still in use in developing countries

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