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Vietnam

Church tries to wean Vietnamese farmers off chemicals

A reliance on dangerous pesticides and herbicides is harming health and the environment

UCA News reporter, Thua Thien Hue

UCA News reporter, Thua Thien Hue

Updated: August 12, 2020 07:03 AM GMT
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Church tries to wean Vietnamese farmers off chemicals

A farmer without full protective gear sprays insecticide on vegetables in Thua Thien Hue province on July 31. (Photo: UCA News)

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Wearing no face mask and goggles, Vo Quang Hung carries a sprayer on his back spraying his plowed 2,500-square-meter field with FasFix 150 SL, a kind of herbicide, before sowing seeds of cabbage and other vegetables.

Two weeks later, Hung mixes Comda gold 5WG, a pesticide in powder form, with water and sprays saplings vulnerable to insect attacks. He also spreads chemical fertilizer on them.

Ten days after, the 40-year-old farmer from Thua Thien Hue province’s Quang Dien district uses a stronger insecticide on his crops before he harvests and sells them to local traders.

“We have no choice but to use pesticides and herbicides. If we fail to use them, insects will destroy our crops entirely,” he says, adding that the pests gradually develop resistance to insecticides and consequently, local farmers have to use highly poisonous chemicals.

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