The burden of truth: Disjuncture between knowledge and practice in agricultural farming
LE3 .A278 2011
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis looks at the disjuncture between knowledge and practice in agricultural farming, looking particularly at the correlation between pesticides and cancer rates. I seek to understand why farmers choose the particular methods they do and the societal and economic pressures that play into this decision making, using a political economy framework. I interviewed three Nova Scotian farmers who use different practices (organic, transitional and conventional). From the interviews I discovered the issues farmers feel most pressing and that health takes a backseat to issues of economic security. I conclude from the research that although there is evidence that there is a correlation between pesticides and health concerns, farmers use pesticides for economic necessity in a competitive local and global market. In my conclusion I offer some policy changes that would help to support small-scale farmers and ensure their protection in the future of the agricultural industry.
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