(KPL) The Governor of Bokeo Province Khamphanh Pheuyavong has imposed a ban on the further expansion of banana plantations invested in by foreign investors in the province. The area of banana plantation investments by foreign companies currently stands at over 10,000 ha. “Impacts on the environment and nearby communities partly results from the fact that relevant government authorities failed to carry out proper management and monitoring of the issue. As a result, chemical fertilizers and harmful herbicides and pesticides have been used by foreign investors,” said Governor Khamphanh Pheuyavong.
The governor said that some chemical substances which have banned around the world are still being smuggled into the province. Provincial authorities have established a committee to monitor the issue and make sure that imported chemical substances comply with established regulations and that the use of the chemicals does not pose harmful impacts to local communities or the environment. “Allowing investors to plant bananas has contributed to income generation for local communities in the forms of concessional fees, employment, among others. However, it has been realized that incomes from these plantations is not stable and laborers are exposed to a high risk of harm to their health due to the dangerous chemical substances used on the plantations. The farming also degrades the fertility of the soil,” said the governor.