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Fertiliser use still ineffective

Update: November, 14/2015 - 09:25
The agriculture sector wastes an average of five million tonnes of fertiliser a year, estimated to be worth at least US$2 billion. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— The agriculture sector wastes an average of five million tonnes of fertiliser a year, estimated to be worth at least US$2 billion, Pham Quang Ha, a representative from the institute for agricultural environment said.

Local farmers, cadres responsible for agricultural management and enterprises operating in the agricultural sector aren't trained in the effective use of fertilisers, leading to low production efficiency.

"When farmers use more urea fertiliser than needed, soil will be acidified and heavy metals will accumulate, polluting underground water and threatening plants in the area," Ha said.

Fake and shoddy fertilisers are also an issue.

Every year, there is an average of 3,000 cases of regulations on fertiliser quality being violated, with more than 1,000 tonnes of shoddy fertilisers confiscated, according to Nguyen Thi Hang, deputy chief of inspectorate under the ministry of agricultural and rural development.

"Most farmers buy fertiliser from local stores where fake and shoddy fertilisers are often sold, they themselves cannot distinguish between high quality and low quality fertilisers," Hang said.

Nguyen Nhu Ha, a representative of the Viet Nam National University of Agriculture, said that training in how to effectively use fertilisers was key.

"Local farmers should make best use of agricultural by-products and inorganic fertilisers to reduce environmental pollution and greenhouse gas," Ha said.

Nguyen Viet Bac, an expert in agriculture, said that relevant ministries and authorised agencies should closely co-ordinate and enhance inspections of fertiliser-producing companies and stores. "Authorised authorities should examine one company or store again and again and licences should be revoked if necessary," Bac said.

According to Nguyen Van Thanh, director of Viet Nam National Chemical Corporation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will double the fines for violations of fertiliser quality regulations and market management officers will be mandated to fine violators. At present, market management officers do not have this ability. Regulations on granting permission for fertiliser production would be tightened, Thanh said. — VNS

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