Chinese fertiliser stock cannot be offloaded here

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021
News Chinese fertiliser stock cannot be offloaded here

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan 

Agriculture Department Director General Dr. Ajantha de Silva told Ceylon Today that he did not issue permit for the importation of organic fertiliser from China’s Qingdao Sea win Biotech Group Co. Ltd, despite a load full of 12,150MT of organic fertiliser from China on-board the vessel MV Hippo Spiritis currently being shipped to Sri Lanka. “I am the only one who has the authority to issue permits for organic fertiliser importation to Sri Lanka. Hence, the vessel MV Hippo Sprit can carry organic fertiliser but that stock cannot be offloaded in Sri Lanka,” he said. 

He said even the Agriculture Minister has allegedly opposed importing organic fertiliser from China. “The vessel has the right to sail. However, the cargo cannot be cleared for Sri Lanka.” When asked who issued the permit if not him, he said he is not aware of it. “I do not know if the organic fertiliser is for Sri Lanka or for some other country. “If I issue permits, that would be in the Sri Lanka Customs Automated System (SLCAS). 

But since I did not issue any permit, SLCAS does not have any such permit related to the organic fertiliser stock in the said vessel,” he added. Meanwhile, on 15 October, Ceylon Fertiliser Company Ltd (CFC) Chairman (CFC comes under the Agriculture Ministry) Janath Vidanage has allegedly written to Qingdao Seawin Chairman and its local agent, Managing Director Lolitha Abeysinghe, that the final test results of the Qingdao Seawin’s organic fertiliser samples showed that it was highly contaminated. 

The letter said that based on the letter by the National Fertiliser Secretariat (NFS) of Sri Lanka dated 15 October and addressed to the CFC under the subject ‘Quality Assurance of Organic Fertiliser - final test report’ that the samples tested by the National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) in Sri Lanka “have submitted its samples of Contract No. 2021/MOA/ CFC/ORG/N10/01 between CFC and Qingdao Seawin.” The letter further said according to the NPQS Final report dated 4 October 2021, samples were contaminated with several bacterial species including Erwiniaspp and Bacillus spp and cannot be considered sterile. 

Hence, the sample does not comply with Sri Lankan Standards. Therefore, CFC’s stand is that the stock of 12,150MT of fetrtiliser in the vessel MV Hippo Spirit is not in conformity with the conditions of the contract.  

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021

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