Noxious chemical pesticides favored in safe-vegetable growing area
VietNamNet Bridge – In Van Noi commune, the biggest vegetable growing area of Hanoi, farmers spray the vegetable fields with toxic chemical pesticides, while selling away the biological pesticides subsidized by the State.
Hanoi’s authorities hope that Van Noi would become a modern vegetable growing area of the city, where biomedicine would totally replace toxic chemical pesticides.
However, in fact, chemical pesticides still have been used in a large scale in the safe-vegetable growing area.
Toxic substances used to produce safe vegetables
The farmers in Van Noi commune would not get into conversation with strange people. Perhaps they think it would be better to keep their wits about the people who come to ask about pesticides and growth-stimulating substances.
When reporters came to see some farmers in Van Noi to clarify the information that Van Noi’s farmers use toxic pesticides and growth-stimulating substances, they heard from the farmers that chemicals have been no longer used there, and that only biomedicine has been used to produce safe products to be supplied to the shops specializing in distributing safe vegetables.
The local farmers affirmed that they have been growing vegetables under a program on developing safe vegetables with biomedicine; therefore, they have been always strictly following the instructions by the competent agencies during the cultivation process.
However, when the reporters met the farmers, introducing themselves as the salesmen of biological pesticides, they were told that the products would be unsalable there.
“Biological pesticides are not favored here. They are expensive, while it’ll take time to kill insects,” a farmer said.
Chair of the Van Noi commune’s Cooperative, specializing in producing safe farm produce Tran Van May admitted that both biological and chemical pesticides are being used there.
He said that farmers have been using biological pesticides as requested, but they still have to spray chemical pesticides to kill some specific insects.
Other farmers, while affirming that they are using biological solutions for the vegetable cultivation, stressed that the current popular chemical pesticides like Marshal, Peran are more helpful in killing insects.
Are “safe” vegetables really safe?
“Insects attack most of the vegetable growing areas. We are not sure if they can be killed by biological pesticides. Therefore, it would be better to use both biological and chemical pesticides,” a farmer in Dam hamlet said.
After chemical pesticides are sprayed, the packaging would be collected to be discarded. However, some packs were still seen lying on the fields.
Dinh Van Thao, Head of the Plant Protection Station of the Dong Anh district admitted that a lot of farmers still have been using chemicals underhand, and they harvest vegetables for sale just some days after spraying.
“Marshal, Peran – the popularly used chemicals, have high toxicity levels. We have recommended farmers not to use them, but we are not sure if they follow the recommendations,” Thao said.
He went on to say that farmers favor the pesticides with a high toxicity level, because the products can kill insects immediately.
In 2013, the watchdog agency discovered a Chinese pesticide trade case in Van Noi – the safe-vegetable growing area of Hanoi.