Farmers in Thailand are being urged to reduce the use of chemical pesticides so that a five-year masterplan to make the nation a global centre for organic food can be put into place.
A screening committee has already approved a draft policy and plan intended to prevent the use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. The controls will be implemented in all food-related industries including fish breeding and livestock.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will be required to oversee pesticide production, and those selling and using it, more efficiently than previously.
The plan, which will be in place from 2002 to 2006, will meet the requirements of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticide, with a view to implementing further research on alternatives to chemicals used in farming.
The Thai Crop Protection Association, comprising 35 producers and importers, said the private sector supports the master plan. It is encouraging the government to introduce the Integrated Pest Management programme to promote correct use of chemical products.