Officials from the Plant Protection Center (PPC) under the Lao PDR’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry organized localized trainings on the safe use of agrichemicals last September 28-29, 2017. Held in Vientiane Province, the trainings were part of the action plans developed from the New Zealand Aid Programme-funded “Regional Training Program on Assuring Food Safety through Pest and Agrichemical Management” organized early this year.
Mr. Phoumee Kanya, PPC Technical Official and MI alumnus, shared that most Lao farmers indiscriminately use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. “Many farmers don’t use personal protection equipment and don’t know how to protect themselves from the harmful effects of agrichemicals,” he explained. The trainings were therefore geared at improving farming practices to supply safe food to consumers.
Twenty-eight farmers from Saithany District and 32 from Hadxayfong District participated in the trainings. They learned about the types of agrichemicals, the importance of labeling, impact to human health and environment, and tips on risk reduction. Mr. Kanya explained that the training is to serve as the first step in transferring useful and innovative knowledge among Lao farmers. “Later, we hope the village heads and farmer leaders who attended these trainings will disseminate this information to their communities,” he concluded.