President Seeks uninterrupted fertilizer supply for Maha Season | Daily News


 

President Seeks uninterrupted fertilizer supply for Maha Season

25% of contribution from organic fertilizer:

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has directed officials to take swift measures to supply fertilizer without any shortage during the 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 Rajapaksa stressed that fertilizer requirements of estates and farmers should be met on time in prescribed quantities with high standards.

The 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 on Tuesday (8).

“Plans are afoot by the Government to assist a revolution in the cultivation sector,” Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival former Minister 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.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force said since several universities including the University of Sri Jayewardenepura have conducted research there will be a possibility of supplying several major types of fertilizer to the local market within next three years. Researchers have confirmed that the domestic demand for Single Superphosphate can be met utilizing the Eppawala Phosphate reserve. Experiments are underway to identify the possibility of producing new varieties of fertilizer using nano technology.

The 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 expected yield has been exceeded by 30%.

President Rajapaksa 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. The President advised the authorities to introduce proper procedures 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.

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that they will combine organic fertilizer with chemical fertilizer, in 70% and 30% proportions respectively. The Minister said that they have purchased vegetables directly from the farmers and prepared a bag containing six vegetable items to be sold for Rs.350 at 10 different locations within Colombo city limits. The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Line Ministries will continue to supply consumer needs for vegetables 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.

 


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