By THE NATION
Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit in his capacity of president of Hazardous Substance Committee said on Friday (November 22) that the committee will hold another meeting on November 27 to consider alternatives to the 3 banned substances for use in agriculture.
During an interview with the “Inside Thailand” TV programme, Suriya said that the Department of Agriculture has recently submitted its report on the effects the ban will have as well as the results of public hearing on the topic to the Hazardous Substance Committee. “The public hearing revealed that 75 per cent of 48,789 samples are against the ban, while only 25 per cent agree with the ban,” he said. “Moreover, the DOA reported that they are still unable to find suitable substitutes for the 3 chemicals, which prompted the committee to hold another meeting next week.”
“I cannot say with certainty if the banning will be immediately effective on December 1, as the committee will consider effects and consequences from all sides again in the next meeting,” added Suriya. “If the meeting agrees that we are not ready to ban the substances, then we will postpone it. However, if the meeting upholds its previous decision, aid measures will be issued to help those affected by the ban.”
Meanwhile, Agriculture Permanent Secretary Anant Suwanrat said that after extensive study, the Department of Agriculture is proposing that the banning of 3 substances should be postponed at least 6 months. “This is to allow time for farmers and manufacturers who still have those chemicals in their stocks, which is estimated at more than 38,000 tonnes nationwide,” he said.