About 500 people in Battambang province yesterday carried out a food safety campaign to raise public awareness and promote organic production to improve health and reduce the use of chemicals.
The campaign was organised by the NGO Forum on Cambodia, in collaboration with partner organisations including the Ministry of Agriculture and the provincial agriculture department.
The group marched through Battambang city while holding banners reminding producers and consumers to understand the importance of food safety.
Tek Vannara, executive director of the NGO Forum, said after the march that health was very important, and to get good health, people should eat clean food, have good eating habits and exercise.
However, he has observed that Cambodians eat food cultivated with the use of pesticides, which in excessive amounts can affect people’s health, the environment, and biodiversity around the country.
“Although the Royal Government of Cambodia has made efforts to improve this situation, local food safety assessments are still limited. There is also little public dissemination, making Cambodians use bad agricultural products that affect their health,” he said.
Mr Vannara called on the Agriculture Ministry to pay more attention to these problems, widely disseminate information about safe agricultural products and techniques to farmers, and urged producers to produce safe agricultural products.
“Please share good experiences related to the understanding of food safety, promote organic production to improve health and reduce the use of chemicals,” he added.
Yi Bunhak, deputy director of the ministry’s agro-industry department, supported the food safety campaign.
“The important thing is the participation from relevant ministries. We have also asked private companies and the farmer community to work together,” he said.
Soul Leng, a farmer in Battambang province’s Sangke district, said some farmers still use chemicals and pesticides excessively.
“They already know that pesticides and chemicals affect people’s health, but it will make their yield decrease if they don’t use it,” he said.