CEDAC organizes No Pesticide Use Week Campaign 2012

On December 5, 2012, CEDAC, in cooperation with Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), organized a workshop on Youth Participation in Community Development without Pesticides to kick start a region-wide campaign against Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) for No Pesticide Use Week (NPUW). 87 people including rural youth, students and journalists attended in this workshop.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

●   Raise public awareness on the adverse effects of pesticides

●   Present the experiences and participation of rural youth in improving farmers’ livings

●   Build up the capacity of rural youth in taking part in organic agriculture, especially ‘good organic rice fields’ to promote the sustainable livelihood and safe food.

During the workshop, a number of topics were presented including: pesticides and their problems, organic ecological rice fields, good rice field communities and rice mill cooperatives, and the participation of rural youth in the aforementioned initiatives.

According CEDAC’s president, Dr.  Yang Saing Koma, there are  two  main concerns in  Cambodia regarding pesticide use and its problems. This includes HHPs poisoning farmers, especially women and children, through their misuse and the lack of knowledge about their effects. Additionally, the effects HHP can contaminate the flow of rice field water during the rainy season. To address these problems, the participation of rural youth and other stakeholders in promoting the ecological agriculture practices is needed. Government actors should ensure the effectively related law enforcement.

As a result, all participants gained a clearer understanding about the adverse impacts of pesticide as well as  the  benefits of  ecological agriculture practices. Moreover, participants committed to  spread  this knowledge to farmers and to actively participate in developing their respective communities without pesticides.

It is important to note that CEDAC is also organizing many other activities in the field to raise public awareness on the adverse impact of pesticides, including field staff meetings, farmer discussions, and a live radio talk show.