The ministry of Agriculture has taken measures to initiate a national peogramme of producing organic fertilizer by utilizing Eppawala Phosphate Deposite being national resource of the country.
It is for the first time of the history that a national programme of this nature has been launched. The phosphorus requirement of the country remains between 125000 MT-175000 MT.
However Eppawala Phosphate Deposite has so far not been utilized to fulfill the above requirement or to meet another national requirement. Various research studies have revealed that phosphate deposits in the world are sufficient only for next 40 years. However our country’s deposit so large that it could be utilized for another 200 years.
According the Lanka Phosphate Company Ltd operating under the Ministry of Agriculture, Sintec Ltd and The University of Colombo have agreed to a joint undertaking for production of organic fertilizer. Under first stage arrangement will be made to manufacture 50000 MT of organic fertilizer and to increase that capacity gradually. Special discussion on this initiative was held at the Ministry of Agriculture today chaired by the Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Mr. Sujeewa Indrajith, Chairman Lanka Phosphate Ltd. Mrs. Nilwala Kottegoda, Professor of the Colombo University and representatives of Cintec Ltd also participated at the discussion.
Eppawala Phosphat Deposite has been classified as high grade among World’s phosphate deposits. According to Geologists over 60 Million MT of phosphate are deposited in it. Although commercial production commenced in 1975 a national programme has so far not been launch to produce fertilizer. Had a well-managed programme having identified national requirements launched, the country would have saved enormous sum of foreign exchange. The total requirement of Triple super Phosphate required for paddy cultivation has so far been imported. When a local phosphate deposit is available sufficient for 200 years this is an unfortunate situation.
Triple Super Phosphate requirement for the country is 125000 MT and the annual import cost is over Rs. 18000 MN. Therefore at the discussion held today it was decided to commence the organic fertilizer production programe utilizing Eppawala Phosphate deposit.