Thai Farmer Won’t Eat His Rice; His Sprays Sicken His Land, Too
|November 9, 2013||Posted by Staff under Economic Principles, Environmental|
Some farmers, aware of how much chemicals is being used to grow rice, admit to being afraid of eating rice. And despite the hike in costs, many farmers invest more in chemicals with the hope of increasing productivity.
At least seven kinds of fertiliser and pesticides are used with each crop. Sometimes farmers are critically hospitalized after spraying chemicals.
After the government announced the rice-pledging scheme with a price of Bt15,000 per tonne, land rent shot up to Bt1,500 per rai per season.
The soil gets no respite, and it is losing its fertility.
Yongyut Kuntaweethep, 70, retired kamnan of Beung Thonglang district, said productivity was constantly dropping. It used to be more than 600kg of rice paddy per rai 10 years ago. During the Abhisit Vejjajiva government it was 570 and now the official survey by the local agricultural officer shows 540kg per rai.