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Vietnam incurs losses from pollution from agricultural production

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Soil, water and air pollution have increased as a result of agricultural production growth in the last few decades.

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Soil, water and air pollution have increased


Agricultural production is both the culprit and victim of pollution. It is the major cause behind soil, water and air pollution in intensive farming areas, while the use of polluted water for irrigation leads to a low yield of crops.

Plant protection chemicals and fertilizer abuse has been poisoning the soil because it degrades the soil physically, chemically and biologically.

A report from the agriculture ministry in 2016 showed that in the last 20 years, the amount of fertilizer used in agricultural production increased by 4-5 times. 

The unreasonable fertilization also caused a big waste of money and time. 

An agriculture expert said that the increasingly high demand for food to satisfy the population has forced farmers to try every possible way to increase crop yields.

According to one report, every person has 1.2 hectares of land for agricultural production on average, but in Vietnam, the figure is 0.1 hectare per head.

To increase productivity, farmers use new short-day high-yield varieties and farm intensively, which requires enriching the soil with nutrients.

According to the Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Sciences, 20 years ago, farmers used 104 kilograms of fertilizers for one hectare of farmed land, while the figure soared to 680 kilograms.

A Chinese study showed that 40 percent of the crop yield is determined by fertilizer, while 30 percent by varieties, 20 percent by plant protection chemicals, and 10 percent by mechanization. 

The expert said the agriculture ministry once carried out a survey on how farmers fertilized coffee and pepper plants in the Central Highlands and found that many farmers used thousands of kilograms of fertilizer for one hectare of crops.

The agriculture ministry’s report that Vietnam spent $955 million to import fertilizer in the first nine months of 2017 and $739 million to import pesticides and materials also shows the abuse of fertilizer and pesticides in agricultural production in Vietnam.

Thoi Bao Kinh Doanh quoted Nguyen Van Sanh from the Research Institute for Development of the Mekong Delta as reporting that over 10 million tons of fertilizer is used every year, two-thirds of which is used for rice cultivation, or 180 kilograms per hectares. 

The fertilizer use in Vietnam is 30-200 percent higher than in other South East Asian countries. It is estimated that half to two-thirds of fertilizer used is wasted, while abuse has caused a threat to people and the environment.



Source: VietNamNet

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