Market told to limit pesticide import


Update: June, 19/2017 – 09:00

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s plant protection product market is valued at US$1 billion a year, but the country is still heavily dependent on imports.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade estimated that in the first five months of the year, Viet Nam imported $400 million worth of pesticides and materials, a 41 per cent year-on-year increase. In May alone, the import value was $98 million.

The ministry said 53 per cent of the total imports were from China, and the rest from Thailand, South Korea, India and Germany.

Between 2012 and 2013, imports of pesticides surged from 55,000 tonnes to 112,000 tonnes. Last year, the amount was 100,000 tonnes and this figure shows no sign of abating.

Hoàng Trung, director of the ministry’s Plant Protection Department, said in the past five years, Việt Nam annually spent around $500 million to import pesticides and materials from China. Of the total imports, 48 per cent were herbicides (19,000 tonnes), insecticides accounted for 32 per cent (16,400 tonnes) and growth regulators about 900 tonnes.

Trung said 99 per cent of the pesticides in Việt Nam were imported, excluding some domestically produced biological drugs and herbs.

Department data shows about 2,000 plant protection products are used in Viet Nam, traded by more than 200 businesses. Nearly 100 processing plants meet half of the total demand for products with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes a year. Việt Nam also has about 30,000 agents providing plant protection products.

Up to 40 per cent of some 100,000 tonnes of plant protection products imported into Việt Nam are bottled for export to 40 markets, which bring in a sizeable turnover. The remaining 60 per cent are used in Việt Nam.

Investment barriers

Lê Thị Khánh Hòa, PR Manager of Syngenta Việt Nam Company specialising in researching and developing products, told online newspapers that it took time to produce a new plant protection product.

It often take 10 years to 12 years to research, develop and register, together with 25 years of studies in laboratories and fields, as well as assessment of effects on the environment, people and harmful organisms, to launch a new plant protection product. The spending reaches around $260 million, Hòa said.

In addition, it has been a challenge for both the Government and plant protection producers to promote the use of the products in more than 10 million small-scale farming households around the country.

Currently, counterfeit and poor quality plant protection products are being sold, affecting the health of firms and farmers, as well as the quality of agricultural products. The Government should pay more attention to this issue, and supervise and enforce strict measures to fine violators, she suggested.

The high investment and weak management have resulted in counterfeit goods flooding the market. On the other hand, the lack of policies and mechanisms to promote investment in this field has been a barrier for local producers who prefer the higher profits of imports rather than producing products themselves.

However, experts say that as the Government focuses on increasingly harmful organisms and urges local producers to improve productivity, the investment in developing plant protection products will provide opportunities for the local sector to become more active in pest management. — VNS

This entry was posted in Nông nghiệp - Agriculture, Thuốc diệt cỏ - Herbicide and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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