Pesticide usage in the Kratom Industry

Pesticide Usage in the Kratom Industry

If you ask your supplier in Indonesia, if they are using pesticides, herbicides or fungicides during the growing process of the Kratom they will most definitely tell you, they don’t. From on-site information, when investigating different suppliers, we know that this is not true for everyone and that there are producers that definitely do use pesticides like Glycophosphate (ROUNDUP), Regent 50 by BASF, DuPont Lannate 25WP and Metsulindo.

This is especially tragic because Kratom should not need chemicals to grow! Kratom is native to Borneo and thrives in many parts of the island. Farmers use chemicals on their Kratom plantations for three main reasons. First of all, they clear the land with herbicides to save time and labor. It is much easier to spray a field with Glycophospate (ROUND UP) and let all the weeds die instead of clearing the land by hand. Secondly, they use pesticides to kill caterpillars which eat holes in the Kratom leaves and to get rid of other small bugs. Thirdly, they use fungicides to prevent leaves from developing brown spots.

In our opinion, these farmers are not using these chemicals out of necessity but because they are very cheap in Indonesia and farmers are accustomed to using them on other crops. It is unclear to us why farmers are covering their Kratom trees with pesticides and fungicides when Kratom grows perfectly well without. For example, we visited several farms that used pesticides and then several farms that did not which were very close to one another. There was very little noticeable difference in the crops, and farmers on organic farms mentioned that caterpillars are present but cause negligible damage. Perhaps the non-organic farms had slightly fewer holes in their leaves and no brown spots, but the difference was hardly perceptible.

We don’t want Kratom in which pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or fungicides are used at all.

It is important to note that some people may not be willingly deceive you, they may just genuinely not know what products are used on the Kratom. A big supplier may assure you that their Kratom is clean and organic and to the best of their knowledge it might be. They may take you to view their family’s farm which is 100% organic. This doesn’t mean the product you are buying is actually organic if they are also buying leaves from dozens of other farmers in the region. It is also important to think about the potential output of a farm compared to what you buy when contemplating this matter. If the person you are buying from supplies thousands of kilos to you but the farm you visit is only capable of producing a few hundred kilos this is a sign that some of the Kratom you receive is coming from other farms which may not function the same way as the farm you are visiting. We don’t want Kratom in which pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or fungicides are used at all. Making sure no chemicals are used is not that easy. Option #1 is to visit the farms and look around if you see any chemical products laying somewhere. If the farmer uses those the probability that you will see some packages lying around while walking through the farms is high. Option #2 is to have your Kratom products tested on the use of chemicals. The problem here is that most labs do test chemicals, but only check the 500 most common pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. With that testing process plus our on-site visits we make sure that no pesticides, herbicides and fungicides have been used, but it’s difficult to have a 100% guarantee. Additionally, having all 500 most-used chemicals tested is extremely cost intensive. Therefore, we test at least one strain per farmer on regular intervals.

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