Nov 22, Colombo: The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to start a program to check the outlets that distribute substandard insecticides and herbicides.
The Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, held a discussion on Monday with the representatives of the main pesticide distributors in Sri Lanka regarding insecticides and herbicides.
The Secretary of the Ministry Gunadasa Samarasinghe and a group of officials participated in this discussion.
The main concern raised by the representatives of the major pesticide companies in the country was that some people across the country are stealing the farmers’ money by selling inferior insecticides and herbicides at high prices
The major companies also pointed out that the use of these substandard pesticides has no effect on weed control or pest control, but there is a risk of several environmental and health problems arising due to substandard chemicals.
Also, the representatives of the companies pointed out that 54 farmers have already died due to poisoning while applying substandard insecticides and herbicides to the crops.
Also, no trader can charge any price other than what is labeled on the packaging of insecticides and herbicides.
They pointed out that if any trader charges more than the labeled price, the license of those traders can be revoked and the farmers can complain to the Consumer Protection Authority.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera, who expressed his views, advised the Secretary to take steps to conduct raids by the Consumer Protection Authority.
He also requested to support the program of selling insecticides and herbicides through agricultural service centers.
The Minister also mentioned that the Department of Agricultural Development will purchase insecticides and herbicides and sell them to the farmers at a concessional price according to the discount provided by the respective companies.
The Minister also stated that the Department of Agricultural Development has allocated an amount of 02 billion rupees for this purpose. The minister also requested the representatives of the pesticide companies to increase the discount given to the farmers in order to provide relief.