Pesticide use rampant amongst Vietnam farmers

The overuse of fertilizers and chemicals by Vietnam’s farmers was discussed at a meeting attended by labor and agriculture officials on December 4 in Hanoi.

A farmer sprays toxic pesticides without face masks, gloves or boots

Organized by the Legal Department of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labor and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the meeting heard that farmers in Vietnam tend to use far more chemicals on their crops than deemed safe.

Incurable diseases like cancer and even death result from the rampant use of chemicals and pesticides in rural regions, experts said.

It is estimated that the pesticide content in one hectare of land in the Hong River Delta area in the North exceeds allowable levels by 2.81 times, and by 3.71 times in the Mekong Delta.

A survey carried out by the Vietnam National University-Hanoi revealed around 15-29 million farmers in the country use pesticides consistently, and 70 percent of them report adverse health effects as a result.

Doctors say pesticide poisoning accounts for an alarmingly high death rate amongst farmers who don’t realize the dangers of the chemicals.

They often spray toxic pesticides without face masks, gloves or boots and sometimes use vast quantities to increase their crop output.

New policies must be promulgated and supervision of labor safety in the agricultural sector needs to be improved, said Dinh Hanh Thung from the Legal Department of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labor.

By V. Phuc - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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