Second Batch Will Be Accepted if Free of Bacteria – DG Agriculture
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
Director General of the Agriculture Department, Dr. Ajantha de Silva, said it was the first bulk organic fertiliser order from China that was contaminated and not the entire order from China and they have not rejected the Chinese company outright.
Dr. de Silva told Ceylon Today there are around four consignments of Chinese Qingdao Seawin organic fertiliser and it was the first consignment of fertiliser samples that were highly contaminated, hence that particular consignment was rejected. He said the next fertiliser shipment sample will be sent to us and if it is free from contamination, the second batch of bulk fertiliser from Qingdao Seawin would be accepted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The twist to the whole fiasco of Chinese fertiliser now seems to be about the Chinese company sending the first consignment on vessel Hippo Spirit before the sample test results were out. “They sent the bulk order without our permission and also that bulk cargo sample was tested to be highly contaminated. It is for that reason that we have rejected the first batch of fertiliser consignment,” he added.
He said they have not cancelled the tender awarded to Qingdao Seawin, but only the first batch of the consignment was rejected due to the sample being tested to be contaminated.
“The first consignment was a bulk order of 18,000MT of organic fertiliser and it was this particular consignment’s sample that had bacteria and improper sterilisation.” He underlined if the second samples sent for the second batch of the bulk order test negative for bacteria, the Government would accept that consignment. “We rejected only the first order and we still stand by it.
We have rejected since its samples were tested highly contaminated, hence the fertiliser on Hippo Spirit cannot be unloaded.” When asked whether the tender wasn’t for the entire order of organic fertiliser from the said Chinese company, he said every consignment would be subjected to testing by the National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) and if the second consignment sample is free from microbes, we will take it, if not, we will reject that order, he added. “All four consignment samples will be sent.
First one we rejected and it would be the same process for the rest of the consignments. We will test the samples of the rest of the consignments and then approve or disapprove,” he further said.