The Minister of Agriculture assures that nobody will be allowed to provide farmer with soil in tanks and waste material as organic fertilizer

The Department of Agriculture has recommended to use 70% of chemical fertilizer and 30% of organic fertilizer for paddy cultivation in Maha season of 2022/23. Accordingly, steps will be taken to supply quality organic fertilizer to farmers. “In this Maha season nobody will be allowed to provide soil in tanks and waste material to farmers” the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Mahinda Amaraweera stated.

This was stated by the Minister while attending a discussion held at the Ministry yesterday (06). The purpose of the discussion was on the preparation of a digital road map by Sri Lanka Telecom for Smart Agriculture.   This discussion was attended by Telecom Chairman Mr.Rohan Fernando.

At the discussion the Minister explained matters relating to organic fertilizer policy of the government.

“It has been planned to provide paddy farmers with Rs.20,000 subsidy payment who are applying organic fertilizer for their paddy cultivation in the coming Maha season. It will be given in voucher form. As in the past, hereinafter anybody will not be allowed to provide farmers with soil in tanks and waste material as organic manure.

Even though the government will not mediate in the supply of organic fertilizer, we will regulate the undertaking. Farmers could selected the best level organic manure of their choice. No any manipulation in this regard. The Manufacturers have the opportunity to sell the best productions and facilities are available at the Agrarian Services Centres for selling organic fertilizer.

I instructed the Dept. of Agriculture to give serious consideration to standard of organic fertilizer. Farmers will not be compelled in obtaining organic manure. It is solely on their choice. No methodology has so far been developed in this country to measure standard of organic fertilizer. Therefore, I have instructed to the Sri Lanka Standard Institution to formulate suitable standards on organic fertilizer.

Rs.16 billion is to be allocated for organic fertilizer subsidy for paddy farming. There isn’t any waste of money as this subsidy payment will be given only for farmers who are buying organic fertilizer.

If public allegations are levelled against any organic fertilizer production, we will not be hesitated to blacklist that company. This time nobody will be allowed to tease farmers in the supply of organic manure.

The other factor is that as farmers are given a 50 kg bag of Urea at Rs.10,000/- a separate subsidy will not be entitled by Urea subsidy receiving farmers.

This discussion was held for formulating a digital road map for Smart Agriculture while several other matters covering new agricultural methods, and application of information technology etc. were also discussed. The Minister instructed officials to formulate a programme of work on this project.

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