Cambodia spends nearly US$30 million on chemical sprays every year, many of which are illegal in the countries where they are manufactured
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 06:14:25 -0800 (PST)
NGOs, officials fight to ban toxic pesticides and fertilisers
Written by Chun Sophal and Hor Hab
Monday, 08 December 2008
Farmers and consumers are being put at risk by dangerous chemicals
imported from outside the country, critics say
DANGEROUS pesticides pose serious health risks to farmers and
consumers, say NGOs and agricultural officials who last week rallied
for a national ban.
Cambodia spends nearly US$30 million on chemical sprays every year,
many of which are illegal in the countries where they are
manufactured, experts say.
Cheang Sovannrath, a project officer with the nongovernmental group
Chemical Spray Reduction and Sustainable Agriculture, told the Post
the campaign, which included a march through Phnom Penh, aims to
educate consumers about the dangers of chemical sprays and encourage
the government to stop importing them.
"I think this campaign can sound an alarm for consumers and
authorities to restrict the import of chemical sprays," Cheang
The campaign is supported by the NGO Forum on Cambodia.
"I think if we don't start this kind of campaign now, we will face
real danger in the future," said Keam Makarady, research project
coordinator for the Cambodia Center for Study and Development in
Agriculture (CEDAC) .
"Ninety percent of chemical spray users have suffered adverse health
effects, with at least 10 percent of these experiencing serious
problems," he said.
Tat Bunchheoun, head of the Agriculture Department in Siem Reap,
welcomed the campaign, saying it could reduce chemical spray use among
"Our farmers generally think chemical sprays can make their crops grow
well, but they are facing an increasing number of health problems,"
Tat Bunchheoun said.
CEDAC President Yang Saing Koma said chemical spraying became
widespread during the economic reforms of the 1990s.
"We want farmers to grow their crops without chemicals because of
their effects on the soil, as well as on the health of workers," he
Ith Sarun, head of the Agriculture Department in Takeo province, said
the government is discouraging the use of all chemicals in
agriculture, including in fertilisers.
"The chemicals have a direct and indirect effect on public health, as
workers can inhale them and food sources, such as crabs and snails,
can absorb them," Ith Sarun said.
Ros Nao, a farmer from Takeo province's Tram Kak district, said some
farmers continue to use chemicals, despite their harmful effects,
because most are ignorant of the dangers that they pose.
"I want to see this campaign being held every month because most
farmers are not aware of the dangers of the chemicals," he said.
NGO Forum reported that a number of highly toxic pesticides are being
widely used in Cambodia, including DDT, which is banned
internationally through the Stockholm Convention.
- Prev by Date: The first expo for Cambodia's banking and finance industry will be held February 19-20
- Next by Date: PM Hun Sen suggested the summit meet of the Asean may be held in Indonesia
- Previous by thread: The first expo for Cambodia's banking and finance industry will be held February 19-20
- Next by thread: PM Hun Sen suggested the summit meet of the Asean may be held in Indonesia