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Abstract

After almost two decades of integrated pest management (IPM) implementation in Vietnam, pesticide risk reduction (PRR) becomes one of key issues in adopting IPM approach. Pesticide risks can possibly be reduced through community farmer education with a fortified IPM training focused on minimizing pesticide hazard and exposures. With this regards, a community education program on PRR in safe vegetable production has been implemented in the country since 2008. The program was first implemented in Hanoi city and Thai Binh province. With two data sets collected from 95 local officials, 170 pesticide users and 15 pesticide sellers before and after PRR implementation in 2 experimented and 2 control communes of Hanoi city and Thai Binh province, this paper shows that: 1) The program has improved knowledge of local community officials, pesticide sellers and applicators in PRR, provided a strong enforcement of community actions on pesticide risk management; 2) It has strengthened community actions as well as individual farmers’ behaviors in PRR by formulation of farmers’ interest groups, construction of tanks, development of internal regulations on pesticide use techniques, building community ownership and resource mobilization to PRR; 3) it enabled local people to reduce pesticide risks in terms of hazards and exposure. On the hazardous side, farmers used pesticides listed for vegetables, used more bio, class III and IV pesticides. On the exposure side, positive impacts were more improper pesticide use techniques; use more protective equipment and better unused pesticides, container sprayer management. As a result of these impacts, the environmental impact quotients were reduced sharply from 20% to 78%; 4) It also has an extraordinary impact in supporting national pest management policy reform. The paper also draws some recommendations for improving PRR training and some legal policy issues for a sustainable vegetable farming.

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