Organic fertilizer imports suspended

The Government has decided to suspend the import of organic fertilizer for the Maha season from a Chinese company, the Ministry of Agriculture stated.

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday said that the nitrogen organic fertilizer which was to be imported for the Maha season this year will not be imported from the Chinese company.

The Minister said that the decision was taken after testing the samples sent by the Fertilizer Manufacturing Company of China as laboratory tests revealed the presence of harmful bacteria in their soil. However, the Government has paid attention to provide the required fertilizer to the farmers for the Maha season without any shortage, the Minister said.

“We are a responsible Government and we will continue to implement our previous assurance that we will not import any fertilizer harmful to people, plants and animals in Sri Lanka. During the last Government, a large quantity of unsuitable fertilizer was imported to our country. Although laboratory tests have shown that such fertilizers contained harmful microorganisms and bacteria, the laboratory records were changed and the harmful fertilizers have been distributed to farmers. However, as a responsible government, we assure that we will not import any harmful fertilizers.”

Director-General of the Department of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha de Silva said that fertilizers or liquids not recommended by the Plant Quarantine Center under his Department will not be allowed into the country.

“The Minister has given us full powers to abide by the Plant Quarantine Act. We are happy about that. Our responsibility is to protect the farmer and the lands he cultivates,” he said.

The Director-General also stated that according to the existing laws, there is no room to bring harmful substances to the country. However, the Director-General assured that steps would be taken to provide the required organic fertilizer to the farmers during the Maha season.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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