No decision to import chemical fertiliser – Mahindananda

By Faadhila Thassim | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 22 2021
News No decision to import chemical fertiliser – Mahindananda

By Faadhila Thassim 

The Government has not decided to import chemical fertiliser for paddy or vegetables, Minister of Agriculture, Mahindananda Aluthgamage said adding however that a decision has been taken to import pesticides and fungicides to prevent vegetables from spoiling due to rainy weather. He added such imports would take place only after Cabinet approval is given to import chemical fertiliser for tea.

 Responding to the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture’s statement regarding permission being granted to import plant nutrients and other material for crop protection, Aluthgamage said the decision lies with him as he is the Minister in charge of Agriculture and added that he could only submit a Cabinet Paper in this regard.

Meanwhile, Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Prof. Udith K. Jayasinghe said permission has been granted to import plant nutrients and agro chemicals. He said the Registrar of Pesticides and the Director General of Agriculture would decide on the type of plant nutrients and agro chemicals and recommended quantities. Only high quality scientifically assessed nutrients and agro chemicals will be imported, he said. 

“This decision was not a reversal regarding the import of chemical fertiliser and this was another issue altogether. Cabinet has given me the authority as Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture to import the required nutrients if they are not locally produced,” he added. Prof. Jayasinghe said 11 senior specialists who were involved in the formulation of an Agricultural Policy submitted a roadmap according to which a risk management plan was formulated under the first phase.” According to the roadmap, the gradual manner in which high quality, scientifically assessed plant nutrients could be used was also examined" he added. 

He said considering the current weather and the need to ensure food security, such a decision was arrived at while noting that crops such as paddy, vegetables, maize and other crops such as tea will be prioritised when importing plant nutrients and agro chemicals essential for the Maha season.  

By Faadhila Thassim | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 22 2021

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