“Illegal Agrochems are Flooding the Market”
Former Governor Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon has urged that all illegal agrochemicals sold in the country be confiscated immediately and that the smugglers should be prosecuted.
According to him, the Registrar of Pesticides has ordered that just nine of the roughly 30 counterfeit pesticides being sold in the island be confiscated and punished. While it is heartening to see illicit agrochemicals being caught and prosecuted under the Pesticides Act, he noted that by prohibiting just nine unlawful pesticides, the Government has created a climate that allows for the unfettered sale of highly dangerous chemicals.
In a statement, he said that even highly toxic monocrotophos, malathion, and carbofuran, which were previously banned in Sri Lanka, are now being imported in unlimited quantities and marketed under various names. “The Government’s goal is to exhibit organic farming to the country and the globe, as well as to promote cultivation without the use of agrochemicals during the Maha season.
Today, organic farming exists only in name, with agrochemicals smuggled in by boat, transported across the country, and trafficked once again. As a result of the Ministry of Agriculture’s stupid strategy, Sri Lanka’s agriculture has become completely dependent on the underground market,” the statement said.
Under the Pesticides Control Act No. 33 of 1980, the Registrar of Pesticides has mandated all authorised officers, prosecuting officers, and litigation officers to seek and prosecute just nine agrochemicals. As a result, all other illegal agrochemicals now enjoy open unofficial sales permission. (TR)