Micro-organisms may offer an alternative to weed the killers paraquat and glyphosate for farmers, according to Mr. Worayut Boonmee, head of the Office of Policy and Technology for Sustainable Agriculture.

He cited the case of BioGreen-Sate, a micro-organism produced from the fermentation of deep-sea seaweed, developed by Worn System Company, which has been tested as effective in eradicating weeds at its test field in Ban Don Klam in Sappaya district of Chainat province.

He said that the Rice Department will conduct field tests of BioGreen-Sate to determine the efficacy of the micro-organism, adding that, if the tests are successful, BioGreen-Sate would be proposed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives as an alternative weed killer.

BioGreen-Sate is an organic extract capable of eliminating weeds with both narrow and broad leaves.  It destroys the green parts of weeds and can be absorbed by the roots.  The weeds wither in 1-2 days and dry up, especially weeds that are hard to eliminate such as Congon grass and Mimosa.  BioGreen-Sate does not affect the quality of the soil.

After the National Hazardous Substances Committee agreed to ban paraquat, glyphosate and the chlorpyrifos pesticide on October 22nd, Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on ordered the setting up of a committee, headed by the agriculture permanent secretary, to work out measures, including alternative chemicals, to help farmers affected by the ban.

The ban is due to come into force on December 1st.

Source