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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Chemical fertilizer mafia must be defeated – Minister Chamal Rajapaksa

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Food production without toxicity should be boosted within the country in order to produce healthy and industrious citizens said Irrigation Minister and State Security, Disaster Management and Home Affairs State Minister Chamal Rajapaksa.

The Minister made this observation while participating online, in the Presidential Task Force National Coordinating Agriculture Sub-Committee for Economic Reawakening and Eradicating Poverty.

Minister Rajapaksa said the time has come to put a full stop to the chemical fertiliser mafia. The Government has prepared a programme to provide farmers with organic fertilizer before the upcoming Maha season. A system to raise awareness among farmers in connection with increasing harvests using organic fertiliser has to be set up.

An islandwide programme to produce organic fertilizer locally in conjunction with the historic step taken by the Government to minimize the use of artificial chemical fertilizers and weedicides was subject to discussion on this occasion.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksa emphasised during this meeting that fertilizer consisting of a qualitive combination which is suitable for paddy farming as well as potatoes and vegetables of up country farmers should be manufactured.

By all institutions producing fertilizer at the moment submitting accurate statistics on their production capacities to the Agriculture Sub-Committee, the direct intervention of the state in promoting organic farming will be highly successful.

There is high demand both locally and abroad for organic produce and the quality of these also are of immense value.

Therefore, a request was made from all organisations to implement a proper programme to ensure that the results of research being carried out by various institutions into the use of organic fertilizer should be provided to farmers.

It was also emphasised on this occasion that when manufacturing organic fertilizer blends that do not harm the soil required to develop the quality of this fertilizer need to be carried out.

It was decided on this occasion that under the Waari Saubhagya National Programme for National Food Security, tanks, anicuts and irrigation agri-streams and canals should be built soon. It was also decided to allow farmers to use various types of aquatic plants that are being removed from the surface of tanks and reservoirs for domestic production of organic fertilizer. The Minister also pointed out that priority should be given to organic cultivations and manufacture of fertilizer, food security and renovation of tanks and anicuts.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksa is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force National Coordinating Agriculture Sub-Committee for Economic Reawakening and Eradicating Poverty.

Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Lands S. M. Chandrasena and Minister of Forest Conservation C.B. Ratnayake and State Ministers Shashindra Rajapaksa, Siripala Gamlath, Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Anuradha Jayaratne, Kanaka Herath and Janaka Wakkumbura together with the Secretaries of a number of Ministries and Chief Provincial Secretaries also participated in the Sub-Committee meeting.

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