Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith says his government is working to address concerns surrounding the excessive use of chemicals on the country’s banana crops.
Thongloun’s assurance came after Reuters reported Chinese-run banana farms in Laos were widely using banned chemicals, such as herbicide paraquat, on their plantations.
"The government could not overlook this," Thongloun said via his Facebook account, alongside pictures of plantations from the Reuters report.
"Since last year, I have ordered a prohibition on renting out more agricultural land for banana plantations to investors because of the damage from chemical contamination."
Thongloun said there were concerns about the health of farmers exposed to these chemicals and the impact they would have on local water supplies, although he did not say whether his government would take action against offending banana plantations.