Agriculture minister says paraquat cannot be banned now
Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach said he is ready to ban the use of three dangerous substances namely paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos in agriculture if this is legally permissible.
Although the three dangerous chemicals cannot be legally banned now, he, however, said that import of the three chemicals had been substantially cut down to 13,000 tonnes from 50,000-60,000 tonnes and that the use of these chemicals had been limited to certain crops and in certain areas.
The minister explained that the three chemicals could not be immediately phased out because many farmers have been using them in their cultivation due to its low cost and effectiveness in pest control.
He said the farmers should be given enough time to make adjustments to stop using the chemicals and to turn to organic farming.
“Farmers have to use the chemicals for quick result so they can sell their crops quickly. We should have sympathy on the poor farmers,” said Mr Girsada
He urged anti-paraquat civic groups and organizations to educate farmers about the dangers of the three chemicals and to help campaign among farmers to reduce the use of the chemicals if not to stop using them altogether.