Sri Lanka partially lifts ban on chemical fertilizers; allows private sector to import it | After India, Sri Lanka also bowed before the farmers, partially lifted the ban on chemical fertilizers


Sri Lanka partially lifts ban on chemical fertilisers; allows private sector to import it

Colombo. The Sri Lankan government has decided to partially lift the ban on chemical fertilizers and allow the private sector to import them so that the country’s farmers can buy it from the open market. Agriculture Minister Mahindanand Alutagmage gave this information on Wednesday. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in May ordered a ban on imports of chemical fertilizers to make the island country’s agriculture sector 100 percent organic. However, the decision to lift the ban has come due to persistent pressure from farmers.

Alutagmage said a gazette notice will be issued in this regard and private sector will be able to import chemical fertilisers, weedicides and pesticides from today. However, the minister stressed that the policy of promoting green agriculture in the country has not changed. Last week, top agriculture official Udit Jaisinghe had said that the ban on import of chemical fertilizers would be completely lifted. After that the minister had said that there would be a ban on import of chemical fertilizers required for paddy and farming, after which there was confusion. Jaisinghe had told reporters that it was not possible to meet all the fertilizer requirements with domestically produced organic manure.

Jaisinghe said that the nitrogen content in organic fertilizers is about 3 to 4 percent. He said, 80,000 tonnes of nitrogen is required for this season for paddy cultivation. This cannot be accomplished completely at home with compost fertiliser. Vegetable prices in Sri Lanka have nearly doubled in recent weeks as protesting farmers have stopped farming.

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