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Cambodian Ministry calls for crackdown on pesticide laced fruit and vegetables imports

Christian Fernsby |
The Cambodian Agriculture Ministry has requested the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to intervene and prevent the import of fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides into the country, to improve food safety and increase local cultivation.

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The request came after, earlier this week, Prime Minister Hun Sen advised the Agriculture Ministry to strengthen farmers’ capacity to increase local cultivation of different crops without using chemical fertilisers to supply domestic demand and reduce imports from abroad, especially fruits and vegetables which have been sprayed with pesticides.

Ministry spokesman Srey Vuthy said that following Mr Hun Sen’s call, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon on Tuesday sent letters to his counterparts in the other two ministries, requesting their cooperation.

Mr Sakhon asked immigration police and customs officers, who are stationed at border gates, to crack down on the import of fruits and vegetables that contain chemicals.

“The Ministry of Agriculture does not have officers stationed at the border, so we can only request for help from the customs and immigration police officers in a bid to help improve food safety and also help our local production process,” Mr Vuthy said.

He said the ministry is further strengthening efforts to increase domestic fruit and vegetable cultivation by providing additional training to farmers on techniques that are safe for consumers. “The Ministry of Agriculture in the past has already provided training for our farmers and will focus on teaching them methods on how to grow their crops without using pesticides.”

As reported on, Meas Soksensan, spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, said that the ministry has not yet received Mr Sakhon’s letter as of yesterday afternoon, but its customs officers will take measures to strengthen and prevent the import of crops which contain pesticides to protect the welfare of the people.

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