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Government lifts import ban on glyphosate

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The Finance Ministry has lifted the import ban on the popular weedicide glyphosate with effect from August 5 while allowing glyphosate imports into the country subject to import control license requirement.

According to the Gazette Extraordinary No 2291/44 signed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policies, N-(phosphonomethyl) Glycine and its salts and derivatives (Glyphosate) has been removed from the ban list of goods specified in schedule four in the Gazette Extraordinary No.2044140 published on November 09, 2017, as amended.

Earlier, glyphosate use was allowed for tea and rubber cultivations for a period of three years following the blanket import ban on the weedicide in 2015.

In 2019, restricted quantities of glyphosate were permitted to be imported for devitalisation in the floriculture industry and removal of diseased sugarcane plants (White Leaf Disease) and coconut palms (Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease).

In 2019, it was yet again banned along with another agrochemical in 2021 as the government made a policy decision to move to 100 percent organic agriculture. However, the blanket ban on agrochemicals was removed several months later.

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