Why buy from India when Nano fertiliser is produced in Sri Lanka? – Prof Vitarana
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
LSSP Leader MP Prof. Tissa Vitarana queried why the Government had purchased nano fertiliser from India, when it is being produced in Sri Lanka. He said Nano fertiliser was bought from India to make up for the lack of nitrogen (only 1.0 per cent) in locally produced organic fertiliser. This Nano fertiliser has a low concentration of only 4 per cent of nitrogen and is to be applied to the leaves. The leaves are not a normal route for absorbing fertiliser into plants.
They are specialised to carry out photosynthesis. The role of absorbing the fertiliser is done by the roots, as their specialised function. The determination of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to introduce Organic Fertiliser, as soon as possible, into Sri Lanka, to replace imported chemical fertiliser has led him to opt for using Nano fertiliser purchased from India to make up for the lack of nitrogen (only 1.0 per cent) in locally produced organic fertiliser.
“One can only hope that Indian researchers have established that the Nano fertiliser is indeed absorbed through the leaves. If it does occur it is far better to use the Nano fertiliser by applying it to the soil when the absorption would be very much greater,” he added. “I am happy to inform the Government that the Dr. Nilwala Kottegoda, who is working at the Nano Technology Centre that I established, when I was Minister of Science and Technology (SLINTEC), has produced Nanoparticles with 40 per cent nitrogen.
She and her team have already used this in Sri Lanka for rice and tea with very good results. “As the Minister of Science and Technology in the UPFA Government, with Mahinda Rajapaksa as the President, it was with great difficulty that SLINTEC was set up. I encouraged the research effort of Dr. Kottegoda and she came up with the new technology that would promote agriculture in Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately, though her project proposal was patented, there was no large scale producer of urea in Sri Lanka to buy the patent and develop the product here. This led to SLINTEC having to sell the patent to the massive Nagarjuna Company in India.” He said, “Dr. Kottegoda spent three weeks there to teach them the technology. But as we had sold the patent with the condition that we could utilise it in Sri Lanka without paying them any royalty, it was possible for SLINTEC to set up a pilot plant and then proceed to produce Nano fertiliser. We should make use of our product to achieve the scientific development of agriculture in Sri Lanka. I hope the Government will give maximum support to this effort.”