CHIANG RAI – Thailand’s government’s plan to phase out three chemical pesticides, may be easier said than done as most farmers oppose the ban.
The pesticides paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, which are widely used by Thai farmers,enable higher crop yields.
A recent survey, of farmers in the northern Thailand, shows that many of them are unlikely to give up the use of pesticides. The farmers say an effective alternative is not readily available.
The farmers said that, because of large farms and shortage of labor, they need to use pesticides. Both before and after cultivation to ensure they get enough harvests to generate the incomes they need.
Phrae provincial governor Mr. Pongrat Piromrat said that the provincial administration had been encouraging farmers to turn to organic farming.
The results, however, have been limited because the organic produce is less popular among wholesalers and consumers. The produce does not look as attractive or fetch the same prices as its non-organic counterparts.
Government Incentives to Use Organic Products
Organic farmers say the government should use incentives to persuade farmers to stop using the toxic chemicals.
Launching educational campaigns so farmers better understand the health and environmental risks from the chemicals. And the merits of organic materials for farming.
Starting in October, farmers who want to continue using the three chemicals must register with officials and undergo training on their proper use.
Vendors of the chemicals are also required to register with authorities to obtain sale permits.
Source: Thai PBS