Pesticides can help limit crop damage caused by pests thus improving profitability for farmers. Many farmers, however, are not clear on their proper use or harmful effects. SSCD is trying to encourage farmers to move towards organic methods of farming but in the meantime, we want to help reduce the harm to farmers, consumers, and the environment caused by chemical overuse.
A two-day survey of cultivation land and pesticide use in certain areas of Hoai Duc District was carried out by SSCD staff and project Board of Management members. We recognized that most farmers lack knowledge and skill in proper chemical usage. They use too much pesticide, the wrong chemical, spray it at the wrong time, and without protective clothing. Also, farming waste is dropped right at the field instead of disposing of it properly or reusing it for fertilizer. Rubbish (like chemical packaging) is also left around cultivation land and in public areas.
To raise awareness, we organized training on the effective and safe usage of pesticides for over 290 farmers. Through the experience sharing of SSCD’s consultant, Mr. Vien, a professor at the Agriculture University, attendees were instructed in and had practice with, the right methods and techniques to differentiate the correct kind of chemical for each type of plant.
The trainer also encouraged farmers to use organic products that not only protect the environment and consumers but also their health. Local farmers were able to ask questions and share with others their own experiences.