Organic farming can save billions
Sri Lanka could save a large amount of foreign exchange spent on
fertilizer imports and have a healthier nation by encouraging more
organic farmers. Rainforest Rescue International Managing Director
Charith Senanayake told Daily News Business.
He said unsuitable farming practices in different plantations has
seen a dramatic degradation in the quality of water and soil leading to
a loss of bio-diversity as well as a loss in income for farmer families.
It has also caused a huge health problem to people. But organic
farmers can give consumers a higher value product and increase quality
of life by improving the local environment through a reduction in
chemical pollution and an increase in bio-diversity.
Senanayake said organic farmers do not take the fertilizer subsidy
given by the government and therefore giving some assistance such as
donating a cow is one way of encouraging them because they are
self-sufficient with basic requirements of infrastructure.
This will motivate other farmers also to convert to organic
agriculture helping to build long-term livelihood opportunities.
He said that Rain Forest International has promoted a range of
livelihood opportunities at Baddegama as a part of a public-private
partnership project to help stabilise farmer incomes in times of
The strategies include provision of cows, whose milk can supplement
household nutrition and sold on the local market as fresh milk or
yoghurt and training in processing garden produce, such as fruits and
vegetables into value added products such as chutney and jam.
He said this model enhances forest resort produces and reduce risk
during climate change and it will have a huge impact on country's
overall economic growth.