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Toxic pesticides used by vegetable farmers

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:04 am

Verdant veggies  farms in an outskirt district in Hanoi. However, many containers of pesticides found discarded in fields, canals, ditches and ponds in the vicinities of farms.( Photo: SGGP)

Bitter cold weather in northern parts of the country has badly affected agricultural produce, leading to a shortage of supply of fresh vegetables as demand increases for the oncoming Tet holiday season (Lunar New Year). 

This has led some farmers to take advantage of the situation and toxic stimulants and pesticides are being added to increase farm produce, regardless of their affect on the health of people.

Mindless of the weather, many farmers in the outskirts of Hanoi in areas like Tay Tuu, La Ca, La Tinh, Thinh Liet, and Van Canh seemed to use excessive pesticides.

Many containers of pesticides with Vietnamese and Chinese labels were found discarded in fields, canals, ditches and ponds in the vicinities of farms.

Ms. Hanh in Tu Liem district said that farmers used artificial growth stimulants made in China for insect control, as insects devastated crops and along with this they used nitrate fertilizer to grow longer leaves in veggies as well as speed up quick growth. This resulted in veggies growing within a short time and giving an artificial and lush appearance.

Hanh revealed that her colleagues used excessive pesticide to grow swamp morning-glory, which was once an exclusive summer seasonal vegetable but now farmers grew it round the year.

Normally it takes 15-20 days to harvest swamp morning-glory but farmers now harvest the veggie in just a few days by spraying fertilizers and stimulants every two or three days. 

A kind of artificial growth stimulant farmers usually spray in their vegetable fields (photo: SGGP)

Farmers used these artificial growth stimulants from China instead of the permitted ones allowed on the list issued by agriculture authorities because they were so much cheaper. Farmers can net more profit by growing swamp morning-glory than paddy (rice).

Ms. Hoat, a farmer in La Ca village which is famous for growing this special vegetable believes farmers began planting swamp morning-glory instead of  rice five years ago because they could earn more money.

She also revealed a separate piece of land where she grew veggies for her family on which she did not spray pesticide or growth stimulants.

The government certainly needs to step up action to stop such rampant use of pesticides and growth stimulants. People face a health risk and even though farmers understand the consequences of excess use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in vegetable they continue to be lured by enormous profits.

Source: SGGP

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