Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday asked people to stop buying vegetables grown with the aid of chemicals to curb their import, help local farmers and protect their health.
“I would like to ask people to boycott chemical vegetables and to check them carefully before buying,” he said.
“The sellers can only continue to sell them because we still buy those chemical products.”
Mr Hun Sen also called on the agriculture sector to increase food safety to prevent food poisoning and other health risks.
But Sam Vitou, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture, said it was difficult for consumers to ascertain which vegetables were produced with the help of chemicals.
“If the growers wash the produce with water, it does not smell of the chemical substance, so we do not know,” he said.
“Beside this, it is difficult to know, even for the experts.”
Mr Vituo said local cultivation remained low, which made the importation of vegetables from neighbouring countries necessary.
He estimated 80 percent of the market was made up of imported vegetables.