This study aims to identify challenges as well as entry points for governments in Southeast Asia and elsewhere to reduce the risk from agricultural pesticides by comparing levels of pesticide use, pesticide regulation, and farm-level practices in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. We identified three main challenges to pesticide risk reduction: (a) the rapid expansion of pesticide tradein terms of total volume, number of products and number of selling points, combined with a weak regulatory and enforcement capacity; (b) a high level of satisfaction among farmers with pesticides combined with low levels of risk awareness, lack of technical know-how about integrated pest management (IPM), andgeneral unavailability of biocontrol agents; and (c) no regular monitoring of pesticide risk, which makes it difficult for legislators, regulators, farmers and consumers to make rational decisions. The study highlights several examples countries can emulate, including the introduction of a pesticide tax inVietnam, the pesticide registration system in Thailand, regular training of pesticide retailers in Thailand and Vietnam, and product certification.
Land use intensification, commercialization and changes in pest management of smallholder upland agriculture in Thailand.
Greater investment is needed in the development of integrated pest management in the long-term, and health problems may be reduced in the short-term by raising awareness among farmers regarding the risks they are exposing themselves to, as well as by promoting good agricultural practices.
Tuta absoluta is a recent arrival in East Africa and it poses serious threats to vegetable producers, especially tomato growers. AVRDC hosted a workshop to inform and educate government and private sector partners about control options.
Knowledge is the first step in reducing pesticide use. To promote safe crop protection strategies, AVRDC is studying the constraints farmers face in Vietnam.