Vietnam can cut pesticide use significantly without productivity loss: expert

The Vietnam Plant Protection Association (VNPPA) has called for a 30 percent cut to deal with long-standing pesticide overuse in the country.

It says cutting pesticide use by 30 percent will not impact agricultural productivity.

Truong Quoc Tung, standing deputy chairman of VNPPA, said recently that Vietnam needs to have a strategy on pesticide usage for the coming years given the long-standing problem of overuse.

He said the overuse is approaching crisis proportions, harming humans, plants, the environment and the economy.

Tung cited an experiment in the Mekong Delta’s An Giang Province that showed a reduction in the frequency of yearly pesticide use did not affect productivity.

Tung said there are three stages to pesticide use that have been observed by scientists. The first one is a period when pesticides are “necessary and beneficial” for productivity without harming food safety and the environment, the second is a period of excessive pesticide usage, and the third a “pesticide usage crisis.”

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Phuong Lam