Aug 18, Colombo: The Department of Agriculture and in the agriculture sector have recommended to the Ministry of Agriculture that 70 percent of chemical fertilizers and 30 percent of organic fertilizers should be used in paddy cultivation in the 2022/23 Maha season.
It is proposed to use a mixture of chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers for paddy cultivation in the coming Maha season.
Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera said accordingly, measures will be taken to provide a 50 kg bag of urea fertilizer at Rs. 10,000 and 125 kg urea for each hectare of cultivation in the upcoming Maha Season as well.
The minister also mentioned that the opportunity will be given to use 30 percent eco-friendly fertilizer and the government has focused on providing a subsidy of 20,000 rupees to the farmers for purchasing organic fertilizers, The amount expected to be spent by the government to provide this subsidy is 16 billion rupees.
The Minister called all the fertilizer manufacturers who are currently producing environmentally friendly fertilizers in Sri Lanka to the Ministry of Agriculture Wednesday, to discuss the problems they are facing and whether it is possible to complete the organic fertilizer requirement of 30 percent in the coming season.
The minister said that he also believes that some of the fertilizers that have been given to farmers claiming to be organic fertilizers in the last season are very inferior in quality and condition and due to these arbitrary measures, the organic fertilizer production industry is under threat of collapse. The government has decided to provide even this subsidy to protect the manufacturers, he added.
Therefore, if organic fertilizers are given to the farmers in this season, they will not be approved for their use without certification regarding their quality and standard, he said.
He also mentioned that the Department of Agriculture has set up a program to check the quality of organic fertilizers produced by some farmers on their own.
Currently, a 50kg bag of urea fertilizer is sold for as high as 42000 rupees in the market. But the government provides a 50 kg bag for 10,000 rupees. Therefore, no other subsidy will be given to the farmers who use urea fertilizers and the government has decided to give a subsidy of 20,000 rupees to the farmers buying organic fertilizers.
Officials of the Ministry as well as all organic fertilizer manufacturers in the island also participated in this discussion.