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Thai farmers reluctant to scale down use of ‘toxic’ herbicides

The Thaiger



Thai farmers reluctant to scale down use of ‘toxic’ herbicides | The Thaiger
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Thai farmers say they oppose the proposed bans on herbicides paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.

The Thai government plans to phase out three chemical weed killers, widely used by Thai farmers, by the end of this year.

Farmers say they oppose the restrictions of use because the chemicals provide higher crop yields, according to Thai PBS who headed out into the fields to survey farmers’ attitudes to the proposed restrictions.

A recent field survey of farmers in Phrae, northern Thailand, indicated that many of the local farmers were unlikely to forsake the weed killers while an effective alternative is not currently available.

Thai PBS reports that the Phrae provincial governor Pongrat Piromrat says that the local government had been encouraging farmers to turn to organic farming. But he admitted the results had been limited because the organic produce is less popular among wholesalers and consumers and because the produce does not look as attractive or fetch the same prices as its non-organic counterparts.

The farmers say, because of their large farms and shortage of labour, they need to use the three herbicides and weed killers before and after cultivation to get large enough harvests to generate the incomes they need.

Organic farmer Mr. Ronnakiat Kamnoi, village headman of Tambon Mae Poong in Wang Chin district, said the government should use incentives to persuade farmers to stop using the toxic chemicals, and launch educational campaigns so farmers better understand the health and environmental risks from the chemicals and the merits of organic farming.

Starting in October this year, farmers who want to continue using the three chemicals must register with officials in their respective areas and undergo training on their proper use.

Retail sellers of the three chemicals are also required to register with authorities to obtain sale permits.

Thai farmers reluctant to scale down use of 'toxic' herbicides | News by The Thaiger


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Animal activists claim police officer killed beloved campus dog

Caitlin Ashworth



Animal activists claim police officer killed beloved campus dog | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A Thai animal rights group is accusing a Chiang Mai police officer of abusing and killing a beloved dog, Tia, a stray adopted by students at Chiang Mai University.

Watchdog Thailand, based in Chiang Mai, investigated the incident after the dog’s body was found last week and recently reported their findings to police, according to Nation Thailand. The autopsy of the dog’s body doesn’t seem to match the police officer’s story. No details on the dog’s condition are reported.

Police say the activist group have also spoken to witnesses and seen surveillance camera footage. The group posted a video on Facebook with a clip from surveillance footage of a dog approaching a person on a motorbike, but no apparent abuse is shown in the video.

Police are investigating the dog’s death and say they will be questioning the police office.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand 

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Posted by อีจัน on Wednesday, 20 May 2020


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Air Pollution

Government claims they’re serious about northern air pollution

Jack Burton



Government claims they’re serious about northern air pollution | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Thailand’s northern provinces, particularly Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, suffer mightily during the annual plantation burning season, infamously known as “smoky season,” when farmers there and in neighbouring Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia burn their fields in preparation for the next harvest. The season lasts from January to April, and during that time Chiang Mai often rates as having the worst air quality in the world. But now the government says it’s taking air pollution seriously and aims to clean up the North.

Chiang Mai’s air quality problems have been a consistent issue, since the northern Thai city was declared ‘most polluted city in the world’ on March 10, according The city has ‘won’ the accolade on more than 10 days this year. Adding to the problem, in March and April this year were the forest fires challenging local authorities in the mountains around the city.

Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat expressed gratitude to the Chiang Mai Breath Council for its concern on smog in the North and gave assurances the government is earnest about solving the problem. Responding to the council’s demand for successful resolution she said the council makes a huge contribution by monitoring air pollution for the sake of public health.

“The government has tried to solve the problem and assigned local authorities to implement relevant measures. It is never distracted from the effort, despite the coronavirus pandemic.”

“The government is grateful for the Chiang Mai Breath Council’s campaigns for clean air. However, the problem cannot be solved by a single organisation. All parties must join forces. I believe that solutions will improve from now on.”

The government spokeswoman also said that Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon would visit Chiang Mai province today to follow up on smog solutions.

“The government understands that it may not be impossible for provincial and regional parties to solve the issue by themselves. We believe that if all parties join hands and watch out for wildfires, which are at the root of the problem and cause of the fine dust, air pollution will be relieved eventually.”

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai expat finds newborn girl on roadside

Jack Burton



Chiang Mai expat finds newborn girl on roadside | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

Thai Rath reported that an American man found a newborn baby girl by the side of the road in Chiang Mai on Tuesday.

The man, who gave his name as “Eric R.” was on his way home to his nearby condo when he saw a child’s arm sticking out from a cloth in the shade of a tree by some old car tyres in Soi 3 of Kaew Nawarat Road.

He opened the cloth and found a fully formed and healthy baby. The little girl was unharmed and seemed to be breathing normally.

He texted a Thai friend who contacted the authorities. The baby is now in the care of Nakhon Ping Hospital.

Police are looking at security footage from the vicinity to find out who abandoned the baby there.

They speculate it was probably the mother who had an unwanted pregnancy and didn’t know what to do with the infant, a common problem in much of Thailand. According to the most recent data from the Child Watch Project, Bangkok is the province with the highest rate of child abandonment, with 7.43 children abandoned per 100,000 population.

The average for the country is 2.61 per 100,000. There are 700-800 babies and children abandoned annually, or about two per day. This number excludes aborted fetuses found in public places.

Source: thavisa |Thai Rath

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