The Government has announced plans to initiate a State-funded pilot project, to enable the production of organic fertilizer within Sri Lanka. Operations will be launched in the North Central Province.
The proposal was approved by the Cabinet this week.These proposals were introduced following President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s initiative to promote the use of organic material, by placing a ban on chemically hazardous substances–like chemical fertilizer.
Speaking on this matter Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister of Plantations Ramesh Pathirana said that a proper program was necessary and plans have been made to increase the production of organic fertilizer, so that farmers can be provided with adequate amounts, in time for the maha cultivation season in September.
Based on a proposal put forth by the Minister of Lands, land and capital will be funded by the support of the Land Reformation Commission Fund. In addition, if the project proves successful, steps will be taken to advance the production of organic fertilizer, across 29 Divisional Secretariat divisions in the Districts of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
At present there are 27 local organic fertiliser manufacturers licensed by the National Fertiliser Secretariat Office. The Government has announced that 224,000 hectares can be cultivated using fertilizer which is sourced from 10 of the organic fertilizer production plants in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, Sri Lanka also has sufficient resources to produce carbonic fertiliser required to cultivate another 100,000 hectares of land. Altogether this quantity should suffice, and will help meet the fertilizer requirement of farmers, gearing for the maha season.
In the interim, measures have also been taken to import required carbonic fertiliser and natural minerals, which will then be distributed to farmers through the Department of Agrarian Services. This was allowed following the Cabinet decision which endorsed the importation of fertilizer to cover 500,000 hectares of paddy cultivation for the 2021/2022 Maha season. The fertilizer will be imported from a Government-owned fertiliser company, using the international competitive bidding method.
On another occasion, a proposal was put forward to import carbonic fertiliser, around 600,000 hectares of the other crops.Imports will take place according to the recommendations of local research institutions (for relevant crops). Furthermore, imports will be sourced through licensed companies that have been permitted to import fertiliser.