Fertiliser ban decimated agriculture industry – Perera

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UNP Colombo Municipal Councillor Sujith Perera said yesterday (18) that the previous Government imposed an imprudent ban on chemical fertiliser imports overnight, causing the country’s agriculture sector to collapse, and bringing on a food crisis.

Perera lamented that if such a ban had not been imposed, there would be no food crisis in Sri Lanka.

“Today, our country, which was once praised as a granary, is forced to depend on the international community for food, particularly rice. Farmers’ harvest has dropped drastically, and is now unbearable. Many farmers have lost their source of income and are struggling to survive.”

“Ranil Wickremesinghe, after being sworn in as Prime Minister, urged that we must resume agricultural activities. Summoning the chiefs of every State sector entity, he urged them to cultivate on vacant land. Food crop cultivation is presently taking place in Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) limits. The harvest is distributed among low-income families residing in apartments as well as Elders homes,” he said.

“As President Wickremesinghe had taken a prudent decision, Sri Lanka is safe from a food crisis today. With a view to empower the rural economy, a joint rural development mechanism has been drafted and implemented.”

The President has also formulated a national policy on food security and nutrition and how to prevent possible food deficiency, according to Perera.

“President Wickremesinghe says no room must be left for child malnutrition. The Government is committed to look into the well-being of children as well as elders. The required amount of fertiliser has been given for the Maha Season. A bumper harvest can be expected in the Maha Season. We will be able to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production by 2025.

Thereafter, there won’t be a food crisis in Sri Lanka. The President plans to produce over 50 per cent of total demand of ‘B’ onion and required amount of potato, soya, dried chili, lentils, cowpea, and peanut to meet the local demand,” Perera added.   

By Naalir Jamaldeen