Jun 10, 2020 (LBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed officials to find immediate solutions to issues faced by farmers relating to the supply, distribution and use of fertilizer.
The issue of fertilizer is a common occurrence in many districts when cultivation starts. Short, medium and long term solutions should be found to address the issue, President said.
The natural composition of the soil has been drastically changed due to excessive use of chemical fertilizer. Farmers tend to use fertilizer in big quantities with the expectation of a high yield.
The President highlighted the importance of shifting towards organic fertilizer by gradually decreasing the usage of chemical fertilizer.
President made these comments during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat today (9) to review the current status of the fertilizer supply and distribution.
With the commencement of Yala season the issue of fertilizer has cropped again. Farmers resort to increase paddy cultivation due to the high price for the crop.
The officials and the Governors pointed out that restrictions on agri imports, increase in the usage of lands for vegetable, fruits and grain cultivation are some of the contributory factors for the high demand for fertilizer.
The farmers should be apprised on how to use fertilizer effectively through agricultural officers and mass media, President said. The farmers in the North prefer to use more and more organic fertilizer.
The Governor of the Northern Province Ms. P. S. M. Charles said the harvest is higher both in quality and quantity. If the farmers in other areas too use organic fertilizer like in the past, it will help solving many health hazards, President added.
President Rajapaksa instructed the officials to pay special attention to the production of organic fertilizer according to relevant standards and to find out the varieties of crops that will grow fast using organic fertilizer.
President also pointed out the necessity of evaluating progress achieved by using organic fertilizer. Attention has been paid to encourage use of organic fertilizer by offering a higher price when purchasing the harvest and provide concessions.
President said the demand for chemical fertilizers can be brought down by developing organic fertilizer production as a large scale industry.
The requirement of studying the distribution of organic fertilizer in the world market was also discussed. Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, Provincial Governors, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Major General (Retd) Sumedha Perera and several other officials were present during the meeting.