HA NOI (VNS) — The ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Public Security have been told to clamp down on illegal and dangerous farm pesticides smuggled across the border with China. The order came from Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Counterfeit pesticides often destroy crops, causing losses to farmers and creating food shortages and food safety problems.
Statistics from the Viet Nam Environment Administration show that the country imported about 70,000-100,000 tonnes of pesticide a year in the past three years.
However, the amounts illegally smuggled across the border is reported to be increasing.
Phuc asked the agriculture ministry to review legal documents controlling the management of weed and bug killers. The review is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year.
Phuc also told the ministry and the Ministry of Finance to help localities build warehouses to store seized pesticides.
He ordered People's Committees to ensure residents living near the border do not illegally transport or sell fake pesticides.
The committees will be asked to teach farmers how to distinguish genuine pesticides from fake.
In 2011, the Department of Plant Protection reported that inspectors had found thousands of violations in the importation and sale of pesticides.
At the time, Professor Bui Ba Bong, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said fake and low-quality products had not only slowed the growth of the farming industry, but also reduced farmers' incomes.
Bong said the Government and the ministry had set penalties for the purchase and circulation of fake products, but these would be increased if they were found to be ineffective. — VNS