Online application to oversee use of dangerous farm chemicals
Thailand’s Department of Disease Control has joined Thailand’s major mobile phone service provider, AIS, in launching an online application platform to help village health volunteers monitor farmers’ use of hazardous farm chemicals, such as paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.
A memorandum of understanding was signed by Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of Department of Diseases Control, and Mr. Veerawat Kiatpongthavorn, chief executive of organizational business relations at Advance Wireless Network (AWN), an affiliate of AIS, today (Friday) under which AWN will provide the online platform for use by health volunteers.
Dr. Suwanchai said the department has always attached importance to the improvement of the health and livelihood of farmers most vulnerable to the threat posed by farm chemicals.
The information gained from surveying the use of the substances will enable the department to develop control and preventive measures.
In November, the National Hazardous Substances Committee decided to cancel the December 1st ban on herbicide glyphosate and delay the enforcement of the ban on herbicide paraquat and pesticide chlorpyrifos for six months.
For glyphosate, the committee reverted to the previous resolution of May 23rd last year, to limit its use instead of banning it.
The committee’s decision dealt a blow to environmentalists and health officials, who have demanded the complete ban the importation and use of all three chemicals in Thailand.