|A Lào Cai province inspection team has begun an investigation into the death of dozens of hectares of pineapples during the past week. — Photo tuoitre.vn
LÀO CAI – A Lào Cai province inspection team has begun an investigation into the death of dozens of hectares of pineapples during the past week.
The information was released by Nguyễn Thành Sinh, director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, yesterday.
The pineapples died in Bản Lầu Commune, Mường Khương District, and local residents believe that exhaust fumes from the Tứ Đỉnh Metallurgic Plant are to blame.
Director Sinh said that the inspectors took samples of the pineapples to determine causes. If the plant caused the pineapples’ death, the department will ask the enterprise to give proper compensation for the farmers.
During the past week, dozens of pineapples in six villages in Bản Lầu Commune withered from dryness and their cores were rotten when harvested.
Losses were estimated at billions of đồng (VNĐ1 billion equals about US$44,400).
Dương Văn Ngân, from Na Mạ 2 Village, said that in the previous season, he earned VNĐ250 million ($11,100) from selling pineapples, but this year most of his pineapples died, so Chinese traders refused to buy although they had deposited, and he must pay back the money for 60 tonnes pineapples.
Phạm Đăng Năm, Party committee secretary of the Bản Lầu Commune, said that right after the incident occurred, commune authorities reported to upper-level authorities and concerned departments.
Initial investigation of local authorities showed that the death was not caused by insects.
Not only pineapples, but dozens of hectares of bananas, tea leaves and jackfruits in the commune also withered from dryness without clear reasons.
Local residents said that they had planted pineapples for dozens of years, and this month was the first time such an incident had occurred.
Once the Tứ Đỉnh Metallurgic Plant was founded and began operation, plants in the commune started to go dry and be faded.
Nguyễn Thị Thắm, a resident in the Na Mạ 2 Village, said, “When the plant operates, we cannot breathe when tilling the field. When the smell is light, we can wear mufflers, but if the smell is serious, we do not dare to go to the field.”
The Tứ Đỉnh Metallurgic Plant was built on a hill, ostensibly far from residential areas. – VNS