Agriculture minister asks for reduction of toxic pesticides

Wednesday, 2018-05-16 11:49:14
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Vietnam uses a high amount of pesticides, up to 100,000 tonnes per year (Illustrative image)
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NDO - Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that Vietnam is currently using approximately 100,000 tonnes of pesticides per year, noting that the abuse of pesticides causes harm to farmers themselves as well as the community.

Speaking at the conference, entitled "Orientation of plant protection in the new situation", held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on May 15, minister Cuong emphasised the urgent requirement for quickly reducing the amount of pesticides, especially herbicides containing highly toxic substances.

"We must accept economic efficiency at a reasonable and sustainable level, but not the ultimate goal of high productivity and output," Cuong added.

According to the minister, Vietnam uses a high amount of pesticides, up to 100,000 tonnes per year, depending on imports. He added that the intensive use of pesticides have caused harmful effects on producers and the community, while decreasing the competitiveness of agricultural products and affecting the ecological environment.

Therefore, it is crucial to promptly reduce the amount of herbicide groups which are not suitable with ecology and reduce the use of too many types of insecticides on a specific plant. For instance, pesticides for rice account for 30% of the total number of plant protection chemicals.

Amid the great challenges of climate change that will increase the risk of disease outbreaks and the deeper global integration in the industrial revolution 4.0, countries with modern agriculture should require their plant protection sector to continue restructuring in accordance with the new situation, minister Cuong said.

Director of the MARD's Plant Protection Department Hoang Trung said that the department will continue to tighten their management over agricultural materials at all stages in order to eliminate poor quality agricultural materials which cause harm to human health and the environment.

The department also aims to decrease the number of insecticides on the current list of plant protection treatments, while increasing the amount of bio pesticides by 30%.