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Ministry regulates pesticide quality 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued a new regulation that enables authorities to check the quality and safety of pesticides before they are used on crops in Laos.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Lien Thikeo on September 17 signed a ministerial decision, which requires the makers and importers of pesticides to register their products with the authorities so they can carry out checks. 
This ministerial decision, which is titled “technical registration of pesticides”, can be viewed on the Lao National Gazette. This is one of the government channels for publicising policy and regulations so that public officials as well as ordinary people can have access to this information and use it as a reference.
The minister’s decision to issue the pesticide regulation came amid growing concerns over the safety level of pesticides, which are imported for use in agriculture. 
In the middle of this year, the government came under strong pressure, especially from the National Assembly, which demanded that the government stop the import of dangerous pesticides and chemicals and ensured that such products were of good quality before being used by crop growers in Laos.
In response to pressure from law makers and the public, the government announced it was suspending the cultivation of some cash crops after learning that the pesticides used in these areas had a harmful effect on farmers and local residents.
Observers believe that this regulation, which requires the producers and importers of pesticides to register their products, will enable the authorities to carry out checks on the quality and safety of pesticides used in Laos. The move is in line with the government’s policy to promote clean and sustainable agricultural practices.
Under the ministerial decision, individuals or organisations that plan to produce or import pesticides must file an application to register their products with the ministry’s Agriculture Department.
In addition to the set of documents that must be submitted, the producers and importers of agricultural products must give the authorities a sample of the pesticide concerned. This will then be tested to determine whether it is harmful to humans or the environment.
A committee will be set up to investigate the effects of the pesticides used in Laos, according to the ministerial decision.
This committee will be headed by the director general of the agriculture department as the chair, while the deputy director general of the livestock and fishery department and representatives of the industry and commerce ministry, health ministry, and natural resource and environment ministry will be the deputy chairs.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update October 17, 2019)

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