Dec 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka yesterday received the entire amount of Muriate of Potash (MOP) fertilizer, or commonly known as ‘Bandi Pohora’ required for paddy cultivation in this year’s Maha season.
The Ministry of Irrigation and Mahaweli Development has taken steps to purchase the entire requirement of Muriate of potash fertilizer utilizing the funds belonging to the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program implemented under the Ministry with funds from the Asian Development Bank.
Secretary of the Ministry of Irrigation and Mahaweli Development U. D. C. Jayalal officially handed over the entire stock of 41,876 metric tons of MOP fertilizer to Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday (05) afternoon. Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Gunadasa Samarasinghe also participated in the event.
This stock of MOP fertilizer has been imported to this country from Canada at a cost of 40 million US dollars.
Bandi Pohora is given to the farmers for paddy cultivation in the country after two seasons. After banning chemical fertilizers in the 2021 Maha season, Bandi Pohora was not imported for the 2022 Yala season. Therefore, the use of Bandi Pohora in the 2022/23 season will lead to higher yields in paddy, the Ministry of Agriculture expects.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera, who participated in this event, said that the entire farming community should be grateful to the Minister of Irrigation, Roshan Ranasinghe, who spent the dollars allocated for a project by the Ministry of Irrigation to provide Bandi fertilizer to the agricultural people.
“Also some people claiming to be farmers’ representatives attempted to discourage the farmers blaming the government and saying that no fertilizer will be available for the Maha season, but they have failed,” the Minister said.
"Some people tried to prevent the farmers of our country from coming down to the fields. But by now all the farmers have started cultivation in the fields. Whatever the political party, the people engaged in agriculture should not be discouraged. There is no need to import rice from abroad next year. Our farmers produce the rice that the country needs.”
“Although plans were made to provide mud fertilizers in this season, there is no place to buy them, as the countries like Ukraine and Belarus produce most of the mud fertilizer. But because of the war, they don’t send triple super phosphate fertilizer from those countries to other countries. But now we are going to receive a stock of mud fertilizer, so before the work starts in the next season, we will give mud fertilizer to the farmers free of charge," the Minister said.