‘Chemical insecticides are easy to sell and easy to buy in Shan State. Actually, farmers don’t know how to use it,’ a local says.
Widespread use of chemical insecticide on crops in southern Shan State’s Mongnai Township is threatening farmers’ health, parliamentarians and locals say.
Insecticide is imported from neighboring China and Thailand, and at least two people in have died from exposure to it, Mongnai lawmaker Sai Moon Leng told SHAN.
“Our farmers don’t know how to use it or how to protect themselves. They don’t use any protection materials when they spray chemical insecticide. As a consequence, it is causing their death,” he explained.
Sai Moon Leng said that farmers have reported paralysis, dizziness, and weakness linked to insecticide exposure.
“I am so worried about their future,” he said of the farmers. “I want to demand that the government stop importing chemical insecticide into Shan State.”
Currently, there are no known restrictions on the imports.
“Most of chemical insecticide comes from China. Farmers cannot read the instructions because they are written in Chinese,” Mongnai local Sai Oum told SHAN. “These chemical insecticides are easy to sell and easy to buy in Shan State. Actually, farmers don’t know how to use it,” he added.
Sai Oum explained that farmers are having to spend their savings on medical treatment for ailments they believe are linked to insecticide use.
“Farmers are suffering from dizziness and weakness,” he said.
According to international safety recommendations, when farmers spray insecticide, they should wear extensive protective gear, including safety goggles, a wide-brimmed hat, respirator, long rubber gloves, boots, and a waterproof apron.