Vietnamese farmer makes pesticide from herbs

A farmer in Hung Yen province has successfully created the pesticide which can kill insects but stays friendly to the environment and humans.

After pouring the black, dense water from a 20-litre can to a small cup and then drinking it in one gulp, Le Van Dao, a farmer in Khoai Chau district of Hung Yen, smiled and said: “If you mix the special water with 0.5 litres of alcohol and some water and then spray your vegetable garden, you can kill all the insects overnight.”

Dao went on to say that he has been using the “drug” for his vegetable fields for the last eight years. The drug allows to kill insects effectively, while it is safe to humans.

Dao and the other farmers who use the special pesticide do not have to wear a raincoat, wellington boots when spraying, because the liquid matter will not harm them even if it touches their skin.

Affirming the outstanding features of the self-created pesticide, the 57-year-old farmer said that he made the pesticide from herbs, not chemicals.

The herb materials are all very familiar to Vietnamese people, such as alpinia, garlic or ginger.

“You have to soak over 10 varieties of herbs into alcohol for half a year and then mix with some water to have the “herb pesticide”,” Dao said. “One can of herb pesticide is enough for one crop. The herbs cost VND100,000 only.”

Dao discovered the miraculous features of the herbs accidentally in 2006. The man, who liked collecting herbs for the treatment of popular diseases, then decided to put the herbs into a rice containing box, because he feared the high humidity would spoil the medicinal herbs.

And he was so surprised when discovering that the rice contained in the box with the herbs was still in very good condition, while the rice in the box with no herb got spoiled with mold.

He realized that the herbs he put into the box could help prevent mold and preserve the rice. He began thinking of creating a liquid which could help prevent insects at his fields.

“The herbs, which can cure people’s diseases, can also cure rice and vegetables as well,” he said.

After a lot of great efforts, Dao found the formula to make the herb pesticide.

The farmer sprayed his rice fields with the liquid he created for the first time in 2006 and saw its clear effects. While the local farmers had to struggle hard in that year to kill insects, Dao’s rice fields were safe thanks to the self-created pesticide.

According to Dao, the special pesticide can kill a lot of species of insects, while it does not cause the pollution to the environment, water resources. It is cheap, safe and friendly to farmers.

Local people heard that Dao has been spraying his rice fields with the self-created pesticide for the last many years and they were surprised that he did not wear any protective masks when spraying the pesticide.

However, Nguyen Xuan Huong, head of the Khoai Chau district Plant Protection Station, said he has just been reported about the environment friendly pesticide. Huong said the experts from the provincial science and technology department would come to work out with Dao on the pesticide. Dao would be given a patent if the pesticide’s effects are recognised.

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