Farmers in Thailand are being edged towards organic farming after the government banned two of the most popular chemical treatments.
Both paraquat and chlorpyrifos were outlawed in the country in June and a review of that decision has just confirmed the ban is to remain in place.
Thai farmers have been mounting protests over the decision, arguing that safer alternatives are ineffective.
According to the region’s news outlet The Thaiger, Abhai Sutthisung, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, has admitted suitable alternatives have yet to be found.
“It’s understood the Agriculture, Industry and Commerce ministries are attempting to convince farmers to make the change to organic farming, by identifying viable markets for organic produce,” it said.
Thailand’s Hazardous Substances Committee confirmed that production, possession, and importing or exporting either of the banned substances remained illegal.
Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit said a number of reliable reports clearly illustrated that the chemicals posed a health threat and that they were banned in many other countries in addition to Thailand.