- Maha season to revolutionize agri history
- 25% of contribution from organic fertilizer
- Plans to produce fertilizer locally to meet the demand
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa directed officials to take swift measures to supply fertilizer without any shortage for Maha season.
The Government expects to revolutionize the agriculture history of the country during the upcoming Maha season by increasing the harvest. Farmers are eagerly waiting to cultivate a large area of lands including lands abandoned for decades.
Payments have been made for this year’s imported fertilizer.
President stressed that fertilizer requirement of estates and farmers should be met on time in prescribed quantity with high standards.
President highlighted these points during a meeting to discuss future activities of the State Ministry of Regulation of Fertilizer Production and Supply, use of Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (8).
“Plans afoot by the Government to assist a revolution in the cultivation sector”, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa said. The background has been laid for importers in both public and private sectors to meet the demand for fertilizer without hindrance, he added.
President Rajapaksa emphasized the necessity of manufacturing fertilizer locally to meet the demand instead of depending on importation.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force said since several universities including University of Sri Jayawardenepura have conducted research there will be a possibility of supplying several major types of fertilizer to the local market within next three years.
Researches have confirmed that the domestic demand for Single Superphosphate can be met utilizing Eppawala Phosphate reserve. Experiments are underway to identify the possibility of producing new varieties of fertilizer using nano technology.
President instructed the officials to commence production of fertilizer immediately while the needed investments will be made by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Organic fertilizer was used for 25,000 hectares of land during the last Yala season. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the expectation yield has exceeded by 30%. President also directed officials to explore the possibility of using organic fertilizer in 25% of the total cultivated land during the Maha season. Through this move it is expected to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer by 25% this year itself.
President advised the authorities to introduce a proper procedure to educate farmers about the higher yield they can harvest and other benefits of using organic fertilizer.
The national policy framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” envisages a country with a balanced environment where chemical fertilizers will not pollute land and water, and safeguard people from diseases including Kidney diseases.
Minister of Agriculture, Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that they will combine organic fertilizer with chemical fertilizer, in 70% and 30% proportions respectively.
Minister said that they have purchased vegetables directly from the farmers and prepared a bag containing 6 vegetable items to be sold for Rs 350 in 10 different locations within Colombo city limits even as they speak. Minister added that in the future the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Line Ministries will continue to supply consumer needs for vegetable directly thereby protecting both the consumer and farmer.
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister Mohan De Silva, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries of the Cabinet and State Ministries, officials of the line institutes and representatives from the fertilizer companies and planters were present at the discussion.