Sri Lanka Imports Chemical Fertiliser Despite Ban
Sumaira FH 2 months ago Fri 15th October 2021 | 04:07 PM
Sri Lanka's government breached its own ban on chemical fertilisers by importing potassium chloride this week, scientists said Friday, after outraged farmers warned the regulations could worsen food shortages
Colombo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Oct, 2021 ) :Sri Lanka's government breached its own ban on chemical fertilisers by importing potassium chloride this week, scientists said Friday, after outraged farmers warned the regulations could worsen food shortages.
The agricultural ministry said only that it had begun to distribute 30,000 tonnes of "organic potassium chloride" that arrived from Lithuania on Wednesday, but it did not comment on claims by scientists that the cargo violated the government ban.
"This consignment of potassium chloride is not organic fertiliser," said S.D.M. Chinthaka, professor of chemistry at the state Sri Jayewardenepura University.
"Very clearly, the government has violated its own ban on chemical fertiliser," he told AFP.
Media reports quoted other experts also saying the government had breached its ban in importing the fertiliser.
Farmers have staged daily protests demanding fertiliser for their crops.
The government had offered subsidies to farmers to produce their own compost, but this failed to meet demand.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised to subsidise foreign fertiliser when he came to power in 2019, but later reversed policy, arguing that agrochemicals were poisoning people.
His administration has denied that the ban on chemical fertiliser, herbicides and pesticides is motivated by a foreign exchange shortage, instead claiming it is part of a push for healthier agriculture.
Farmers of rice, the country's staple along with tea, have warned crop yields could be halved without chemicals.