|Official statistics show that in the first eight months of this year, $454 million worth of raw materials for plant protection chemicals were imported, and more than half came from China.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)—Concerns are growing about the ineffective management of plant protection chemicals in the domestic market.
According to the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), there are currently around 1,100 types of plant protection chemicals on the market, but 90 per cent of raw materials were imported.
Official statistics show that in the first eight months of this year, $454 million worth of raw materials for plant protection chemicals were imported, and more than half came from China.
Tran Thi Thang, a farmer from Chuong My District in Ha Noi, said her family had a 5,000sq m vegetable farm, but struggled to find an outlet that sold reliable plant protection chemicals.
Thang said she had spent about VND1 million on various types of plant protection chemicals, but was unsure about which ones were reliable.
"We can only listen to what the shopkeepers tell us, but they often try to sell us substandard products to make a quick profit," she said.
Nguyen Xuan Hong, head of the Plant Protection Department, said there were 97 small-scale outlets for self-processed plant protection chemicals, but government agencies were unable to control their activities.
Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat said the management of plant protection chemicals was a top priority, but regulations regarding the chemicals were established 10 years ago, and were outdated.
These regulations are going to be replaced by the Law on Plant Protection and Quarantine, which should provide a tighter legal framework.
According to experts, the ineffective management of plant protection chemicals was because there were too many vendors and farmers lacked information.
Experts are calling for better co-ordination among agencies to build distribution channels and information sources for farmers, where they can find out more about the various types of plant protection chemicals available and report companies that sell inferior products. — VNS