May 02, Colombo: Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake states that the ban on glyphosate use imposed on Tea and Rubber cultivation has been lifted from today.
Minister Navin Dissanayake has made this comment at a media conference held today.
The Minister said that Sri Lankan tea is in danger of being banned from Japan due to use of an herbicide called MCPA instead of glyphosate. He also said that no organic herbicide has been introduced in the market yet to replace glyphosate.
After the good governance government came to power in 2015, President Maithripala Sirisena totally banned the use of glyphosate.
However, the National Economic Council appointed by the President took a decision to lift the ban on glyphosate at least for the tea plantations due to the significant significant damage to plantation companies, planters and agricultural economy due to the glyphosate ban.
The economic losses to the country due to the ban have been estimated to be about 15 to 20 billion rupees annually.
In the face of devastating crop losses due to the overgrowing weeds, especially in tea plantations, the Planters Association of Ceylon (PA) pleaded with the Government to immediately provide a rational, and effective solution to the management of chemical weeding in the estate sector in a commercially viable manner.
Last month, a group of scientists and scholars in a letter requested President Sirisena to immediately lift the ban on glyphosate and if not at least remove the ban temporarily until an alternative to glyphosate is found.