Pesticide Use Popular among Local Farmers
Most crop growers in Vientiane like to use the strongest chemicals and pesticides they can find to kill all the insects, worms and grubs which want to eat their crops.
If the insects are still alive the growers tend to mix two kinds of the strongest insecticides to suppress them but sometimes they even add three or four kinds of chemicals in order to guarantee the death of the bugs.
One Vientiane vegetable farmer told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that he doesn’t know how to measure the strength of these chemical pesticides but he measures his success when the bugs fall from his crops and die immediately after spraying.
Pesticides are used to make sure the crops look good when they are on sale in the markets.
Many different types of crops including fruits and vegetables have been grown using chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
“Right now, they mix a product of soap with water to make their vegetables smell like soap. This smell helps to erase the acrid smell from chemical pesticides,” one farmer said.
Nowadays, chemically grown fruits and vegetables remain widespread and many are sold at shops and markets in Vientiane. Moreover, the markets are selling a special chemical to help their plants grow faster.
If these farmers don’t use insecticides, insects eat their crops. At present, farmers in the provinces not only use pesticide for growing crops but also use herbicides to clear the land of weeds for farming purposes.
Last week, five workers in Vientiane took to hospital after falling ill due to pesticide exposure in a banana plantation.
Based on the Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department, about 55 kinds of pesticide have been banned in Laos.
However, Laos has traditional borders with Thailand and it’s quite difficult to control the importation of potent or banned chemicals.
According to the Vientiane committee for organic vegetables, only around 20 or 30 percent of the population in Vientiane have ever eaten chemical free vegetables.
Many people are still not eating organic vegetables because there are only a few places selling them in Vientiane and those markets might be quite far from many people’s houses. On the other hand, there are not many organic growers.
Organic vegetables in Vientiane have been developing for almost ten years ago but the process has been slow.
Members of the public mentioned that they know that eating vegetables that have been organically grown is better for your health because they are free from potentially harmful chemicals, but they don’t buy them because their prices can be quite expensive.
Source: Vientiane Times