Indian Fertilizer - Is it sufficient?

Indian Nano Fertilizer distributed, but will it be sufficient for the Maha Season?

by Zulfick Farzan 31-10-2021 | 12:36 AM

COLOMBO (News 1st); It's been 10 days since Sri Lanka received a consignment of Nano Urea (Liquid) fertiliser from the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative or IFFCO.

Agriculture Secretary Uditha. K. Jayasingha said this particular consignment was distributed to agricultural areas in Ampara, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

However, serious concerns have been raised as to whether this consignment will meet Sri Lanka's fertilizer requirement.

The department of Agriculture recently ordered 3.1 Million liters of Nano Urea (Liquid) fertiliser required for 800,000 hectares of paddy fields for the Maha cultivation season.

The order was placed based on the President's policy decision to use organic fertilizer for paddy farming during the maha cultivation season to ensure eco-friendly agriculture.

Accordingly, 100,000 liters of Nano Urea (Liquid) fertiliser manufactured by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative or IFFCO airlifted to the island on the 20th of October.

On the same day the Agriculture Ministry announced that arrangements have been made to import 500,000 liters of Nano Urea (Liquid) fertiliser to Sri Lanka.

Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry Professor Uditha. K. Jayasinghe said another consignment of Nano Urea (Liquid) fertiliser is to be imported to the island from India in the coming days.

He added that a portion of that consignment will be airlifted to Sri Lanka while the remainder will be shipped to the island.

The Chairman of the Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company said a stock of fertilizer will be imported next week.

This would be the remaining portion of the fertilizer stock that was imported previously.

Namal Karunaratne, the Convener of the All Ceylon Farmers Federation who has been critical over the government's decision regarding fertilizer said the state has not categorized the imported fertilizer as organic or chemical fertilizer.

"According to the information we have received the Government has not even obtained the technical certificates to distribute the product. The Government has also committed several crimes. They have ruined organic farming," he alleged.

For months, Farmers across many areas in Sri Lanka have been protesting against the shortage of fertilizer in the country.

The ban on chemical fertilisers — widely used in the tea and rice industries — was opposed by farmers who staged protests after reporting failing vegetable crops as existing stocks began to run out within weeks.

The promulgated regulation restricting and banning the import of fertilizers and agrochemicals is leading to widespread concern among Sri Lanka’s farmer community, industry associations, practitioners, and agricultural professionals.

As protests continue to grow in Sri Lanka's farmlands, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage condemdned the protests by the farmers, stating that if the is credible evidence to prove that the President and the Government looted public funds, he would resign from politics.

"People are at their homes because of the pandemic. They say Sir has failed. It seems he has failed after doing the right thing. They might say he has passed if the does the wrong thing," he said.