‘COVID-19, a threat to agriculture’ | Daily News


‘COVID-19, a threat to agriculture’

Indigenous farming, the most secure option - ACAIA

The spread of coronavirus across the world would greatly affect the country’s agricultural sector because it seems that the importation of agricultural inputs such as pesticides and fertilizer essentials used for the improved varieties of crops have been limited, the All Ceylon Agricultural Instructors’ Association (ACAIA) said.

ACAIA President Nishantha Udayasiri said under this situation, the country would not be able to expect a bounteous harvest and would have to face an acute shortage of food in the future. He made these observations at a press conference held at the Pannala Co-operative Auditorium over the weekend.

He further said that these pesticides and insecticides are not manufactured in our country. Instead, they are imported from countries such as India, France and Vietnam, where COVID-19 has already spread.

“Unless we shift to indigenous agriculture, the farming community will have to die in starvation,” ACAIA President Udayasiri said. “The only solution to this issue is to follow the methods in our indigenous agriculture.”

Udayasiri said ancient farmers tilled their land according to the season systems (Yala and Maha), avoiding pest invasions. “They also implemented organic pest control methods. No chemicals or toxins were used to enrich the soil of paddy lands. They used manure, fallen leaves and decayed hay to fertilize their lands. The organic fertilizer which they used improved microbial activity in the soil. The yield from their methods of fertilization was high and sans harmful toxins,” he said. He said the Agriculture Department has already started indigenous paddy and vegetable cultivation. “Our Association has planned to conduct a series of awareness programmes throughout the island in order to make the people aware of the value and importance of indigenous agriculture. Many voluntary organizations too have consented to assist us to make our effort a success,” ACAIA President said.

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