‘Erwinia’ pathogen detected in Chinese Organic Fertilizer Sample

‘Erwinia’ pathogen detected in Chinese Organic Fertilizer Sample

‘Erwinia’ pathogen detected in Chinese Organic Fertilizer Sample

Written by Staff Writer

17 Sep, 2021 | 6:33 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Minister of Agriculture confirmed today that a microorganism identified as ‘Erwinia’ was discovered in samples brought down ‘unofficially’ to Sri Lanka and tested.

The Minister said the government will not allow any organic fertilizer that does not meet the SLSI mandated standards, to be released into the local market. Fertilizers imported to the country cannot contain pathogenic microorganisms that are harmful to animals, plants, and humans said Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

“The former government imported substandard fertilizer to the country and lab reports were amended before releasing stocks to the local farmer,” he said. The Minister told reporters that for Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer imports, bids were submitted to a tender and one supplier was selected.

This supplier was revealed as Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. “This supplier is the single largest organic fertilizer manufacturer and is based in China,” he said adding the company supplies fertilizer to the United States as well.

The Minister said after the company was selected, samples were sent for testing at an independent laboratory nominated by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute.

“The reports claim there are no pathogenic microorganisms in the samples we sent to them,” said the Minister.

Unofficial?

However, as this was the first time Sri Lanka was importing organic fertilizer from the supplier, samples were obtained via unofficial channels for testing, said the Minister.

“The Ministry has serious concerns in the process following to import these samples to the country,” said the Minister noting that the fertilizer samples were sent to Sri Lanka in plastic bags, which would allow anyone to pilfer the sample.

The Minister said the microorganism identified as Erwinia was discovered from these samples, and therefore these samples are in no way suitable for cultivations in the country.

He said the are concerns over these samples as they were imported via unofficial channels, however, all fertilizer imported to the country will be subject to tests.

“There is a massive conspiracy afoot to force the government to reverse its decision on organic fertilizer,” said the Minister adding the organic fertilizer imported to the country is prepared from seaweed.

Sri Lanka will be importing 20,000 MT of organic fertilizer and the supplier has placed a bond of $5 Million, said Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

However, Minister Aluthgamage said there is a serious concern as to why only the lab report with so-called negative results was released to the public, while the lab reports of the International Laboratory and Department of Agriculture, are yet to be made available to the public.

He said this matter will be investigated and the Criminal Investigations Department will be requested to probe as to how the report was leaked.

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