Jan 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka's pesticide imports have declined over 14 percent last year due to the government's decision to reduce pesticide use, Registrar of pesticides Dr. Anura Wijesekara has said.
According to the official, Sri Lanka annually imports 7,000 metric tons of pesticides but in 2013 the imports have declined to 6,000 metric tons.
The government has decided to reduce the pesticide use as a measure to limit the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that is debilitating people in farming areas.
The Ministry of Agriculture last year banned the importation of three pesticides- Chlorpyrifos, Propanil and Carbaryl with immediate effect following a decision taken by an inter-ministerial committee appointed to implement the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to prevent the CKD.
The Committee made the recommendation to ban the pesticides based on the suggestions and advice of experts who have studied the situation regarding the pesticides use by the farmers in the affected areas, mainly the North Central Province where the CKD prevalence is high.
A joint research project conducted by the Sri Lankan government and the WHO found that the high prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the country's main agricultural production regions caused by fertilizer and pesticide use.
The official also noted that raising awareness in organic farming and organic food consumption had also contributed to the success in reducing the amount of pesticides used by the farmers.
The government will further focus on enlightening the general public on the ill-effects of pesticides, according to Dr. Wijesekara.