- Says despite difficulties, will persevere with effort to change agriculture
- Govt. willing to buy rice at higher prices if yields fall
- Experts at meeting claim chemical fertiliser ban will save lives similar to war ending
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that the decision to start using organic fertiliser was taken towards endowing a healthy future generation to the country, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said yesterday.
The ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ policy framework stated that the whole agricultural sector of the country should be transformed to use organic fertilisers entirely. It is the responsibility of the Government to act in accordance with the pledges made to the people. Previous governments have tried to popularise the use of organic fertilisers but have not been able to sustain the practice. This is a challenging task; a difficult one, but it should be done on behalf of the country after identifying the correct strategy, the statement said.
The President expressed these views at a meeting held with members of the Presidential Task Force on creating a Green Sri Lanka with Sustainable Solutions to Climate Change at the Presidential Secretariat.
The President said that the Government is ready to buy paddy for a higher price than the guaranteed price if there is any reduction in the yield due to the use of organic fertiliser. Therefore, he said the farmers should not have any fear of the initiative. The President said that the Government is ready to bear the cost to ensure that consumers can purchase rice at the present rates.
The President added that the Government is ready to provide the necessary facilities if the companies that imported chemical fertilisers start producing organic fertiliser. Taking part in the discussion, President’s Special Representative and the Chair of the Task Force Basil Rajapaksa said: “Some battles were lost in the mission to save the country from terrorism. Finally, the country succeeded in defeating terrorism. Similarly, the Government is ready to ensure the peoples’ right to a non-toxic meal by overcoming all the challenges.”
The experts in the field pointed out that the transformation of Sri Lanka’s agriculture, which has been accustomed to the use of chemical fertilisers since the early ‘60s, to the use of organic fertilisers, would be a special victory bestowed upon the people similar to saving the country from the war.
Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera and the members of the Presidential Task Force on creating a Green Sri Lanka with Sustainable Solutions to Climate Change were present.