Task Force appointed to investigate ill-effects of chemical fertilizers

Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that it was possible to appoint a proper Task Force to investigate the damage to health due to the use of chemical fertilizers.

The Minister made this comment during the Annual Research Sessions of the Department of Agriculture held at Gannoruwa, Kandy recently.

The Minister said a number of countries have carried out research into whether the number of kidney and cancer patients had increased due to the use of chemical fertilizer. America has paid billions in compensation to people who had fallen ill as a result of consuming food items produced using chemical fertilizers and weedicides.

“Our Ministry of Health has not made any inquiries about such things at all. The current Minister of Health appointed a Task Force to specially look into these issues. That research will begin very soon. In Australia organic farming is being done on 36,00,000 hectares of land. India engages in organic cultivation on 32,00,000 hectares. We have only 16,00,000 hectares.This is a challenge which is not easy. Farmers are not in favour of it. In order to see the organic cultivations programme we commenced become a success, the media too has to play a responsible role. Even the Government has to be responsible,” Minister Aluthgamage said.

“Going in for organic cultivations was not a personal decision of mine. I accepted the decision of the President. Whatever challenges arose and whatever attacks I had to face, I stood up on behalf of that since the concept was worthwhile. Green agriculture is being commenced for paddy farming. The fertilizer relief is being granted for organic agriculture. Farmers who take to green farming will be granted relief and benefits. Others can purchase chemical fertilizer and engage in cultivation.

There is no possibility of getting down chemical fertilizer for this Maha season. Generally, it takes about two months to import fertilizer.

We will be able to import fertilizer for the next Yala season. There are pesticides for vegetables. No one talks about the good of the programmes we engage in, neither did the media mention the good side of this. I regret that,” the Minister added.


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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