Interest in organic farming grows in Peru


Pedro Francia used to insist that his wife and children stay out of the family’s apple orchard in the coastal desert valley of Mala, about 50 miles (80 kms) south of Lima. Because there is no cold season, the trees do not drop their leaves naturally; so growers “induce” autumn using chemicals as defoliants. Until recently, the chemical of choice was Selinon. But Francia and others here allege that some of those who used it suffered fevers, blindness—even death. Fearful for their health, Francia and a handful of other growers decided three years ago to switch to organic methods. Ten formed an association called Biofruta, which now produces 100 tons of apples a year in a combined area of 50 acres (20 hectares). To... [Log in to read more]

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