Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Farmers worry about effect of pesticide ban

Farmers worry about effect of pesticide ban

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A farmer sprays his crop in Kandal province. Pha Lina

Farmers worry about effect of pesticide ban

The agriculture industry is waiting to see the potential impacts after the import and trade of pesticides were put on hold in the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Agriculture issued an announcement on Friday banning the sale and use of the chemicals for an undetermined period, but did not name any specific chemical component as being of particular concern.

The ban comes on the back of a poisoning incident in Kratie province, which left at least 14 dead and around 300 others in hospital. Water samples from the affected area were found to contain pesticides, the Ministry of Health said.

There are 100 companies that sell or produce fertiliser and agrochemical products registered in the Kingdom, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Morn Sinon, technical supervisor at Agrotech Vita Co Ltd, said the Ministry of Agriculture should exempt weaker pesticides from the ban as a blanket prohibition would heavily impact farmers.

“There are many different chemicals that go into different pesticides. The ministry should allow the sale and trade of less dangerous pesticides to continue farming,” Sinon said. “It also impacts us as we can no longer sell our products.”

“There are many types of pesticides, and the ministry should classify them so farmers can continue to tend to their land.

“Agrochemicals cause less impact if they are used properly and the instructions are followed,” he added.

Chhiv Ngy, the director of the Cashew Nut Association in Kampong Thom, said he was concerned over the ban’s impact on large-scale farming, as pesticides are essential for cashew farmers.

“Pesticides are important for us. Without them, we don’t have a big enough work force to clear our grass from pests and our plants will not grow well,” he said. “How can we manage our farms without them?”

Minister of Agriculture Veng Sokhon said the ministry is cooperating with experts and officials to investigate the Kratie case and locate the source of the mass poisoning. In the meantime, to protect the public, the ban on pesticides was put in place.

“We need to stop the use of pesticides during the investigation period,” Sokhon said. “If anyone violates the ban, they will be fined and punished according to the Law on Agriculture.”

The minister wouldn’t give further details on the punishments for those found flouting the ban.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused