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Alarm bell sounded over environmental pollution in rural areas

 VietNamNet Bridge – Environmental pollution in rural areas has worsened due to farmers’ overuse of fertilizers and pesticides and their discharge of untreated wastewater from livestock farms.

VietNamNet Bridge – Environmental pollution in rural areas has worsened due to farmers’ overuse of fertilizers and pesticides and their discharge of untreated wastewater from livestock farms.


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The Science, Technology and Environment Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sounded the alarm over rural pollution at a review meeting on environment protection in the agricultural sector and rural areas in the 2011-2015 period in Hanoi last week.

Dinh Vu Thanh, deputy head of the department, said the improper use of fertilizer has placed negative impact on the environment. Particularly, the overuse of inorganic fertilizer has reduced water retention in agricultural land and made much farmland in many parts of the country barren.

Every year, farmers nationwide use a total of 2.4 million tons of fertilizer on their farms but throw away 240 tons of scrap packaging on the ground and into canals, polluting water resources and the environment.    

Statistics of the Plant Protection Department under the ministry showed Vietnam imports 70,000-116,000 tons of pesticide chemicals a year and their packaging waste thrown into the environment is estimated at tens of thousands of tons.

“This packaging waste has polluted water resources and impacted on the health of the community,” Thanh said.

In the livestock sector, 60% of over 82 million tons of solid waste discharged last year was treated properly and the rest was dumped into the environment. In addition, authorities can manage waste discharges and operations at only 35.8% out of 35,000 slaughterhouses across the country.

Thanh said most farming facilities in the fisheries sector have not invested in wastewater treatment systems.

Experts said environment protection in agriculture and rural areas is very important to sustain growth in the sector and help Vietnamese meet strict requirements for product quality and hygiene in export markets given Vietnam’s deeper international integration.

Despite increasing environmental pollution in agriculture and rural areas, more than VND147 billion (around US$6.6 million) from the State budget has been spent in this field, far below demand.

SGT

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