Source: Lao News Agency (KPL), 26/5/2017
(KPL) ‘Xayaboury authorities have permanently suspended plantations of aroma bananas totally sized more than 360 ha, and plan to grow alternative cash crops to replace banana farming.’
The Planning and Cooperation Division under the Xayaboury Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department told local media on May 24 that the Xayaboury Governor issued an order suspending aroma banana farming and banning further expansion of banana farms last year.
The provincial authorities plan to begin in late June to destroy aroma banana farms as they have found that hazardous chemical substances have been used in banana farming over recent months.
Although the banana farms have created jobs for locals, the overuse of chemicals in banana farms have left hazardous chemical residue that can cause negative impacts on environment and local communities.
Local authorities are also concerned about the impact of the chemical use on the tourism industry in the province.
Xayaboury, Bokeo, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Phongsaly provinces are the main areas where Chinese banana farms exist for export purposes.
The problem is not only confined to the northern part of Laos. Hundreds of hectares of Chinese banana farms have been set up in Vientiane Province and Vientiane Capital as well.