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Pesticide distribution and use in vegetable production in the Red River Delta of Vietnam

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2009

Pham Van Hoi*
Affiliation:
Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
Arthur P.J. Mol
Affiliation:
Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
Peter Oosterveer
Affiliation:
Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
Paul J. van den Brink
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
*
*Corresponding author: pham.vanhoi@wur.nl

Abstract

For a long time pesticides attracted interest from the Vietnamese governments and farmers for their positive effects in protecting crop yield losses resulting from pests and other plant diseases. Recently, the negative effects of pesticides on human health, natural food chains and the environment are increasingly being taken into account by both state and non-state actors. Striking a balance between positive and negative effects is complicated as, most likely, pesticides will continue to maintain their vital role in an agriculture-based country such as Vietnam. However, recently a shift can be noticed in farmers' selection and application of pesticides, initiated mainly by farmers themselves and to a lesser extent also by other actors such as the government, pesticide companies and distributors. This article provides an empirical insight into this shift, based on the results from research in four provinces in the Red River Delta. Possible implications for policies toward greening pesticide handling practices in vegetable production are drawn, such as removing inexpensive pesticides (often associated with high toxicity) from the market, giving technical training on pesticide selection and use to farmers, and reconsidering the role different actors can play in future safe vegetable production programs.

Type
Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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