Valentine’s message from a governor

THE governor of the northern Thai province of Lumphun will send a special message to the locals on Valentine’s Day this year, but it has nothing to do with loving couples, Chiang Mai News reported today (Feb. 13).

Faced with the long-standing problem of slash-and-burn agriculture, Lumphum Governor Attasit Sampantarat will deliver a message urging farmers to take care of the environment.

Every year, rice farmers burn their rice stalks and weed after harvesting paddy. The practice often leads to forest fire and toxic smog that cause respiratory illness among a large number of people each year.

In his message, Governor Attasit will declare that starting this year, rice stalks and weed burning will be banned during the 20th of February and the 20th of April. Farmers will have to find some other way to get rid of the weed.

CAPTION: Like much agriculture in the third world, slash-and-burn farming also occurs in Thailand. Photo: Mattmangum (CC-BY-2.0)

By Songpol Kaopatumtip