(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to take steps to provide organic fertilizer to farmers on time for the Yala season when the Presidential Task Force for Green Agriculture met at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning (03).
Organic fertilizers are produced locally using various techniques. Therefore, the President emphasized the need to educate farmers properly on their use and stressed the need to deploy officers of the Task Force for this purpose.
Lack of proper awareness on the use of organic fertilizer has led to the failure of some farmers last season. This time the farmers should be duly informed by the Agricultural Research Assistants to avoid these shortcomings, the President said.
Noting that there were reports of some officials being reluctant to participate in awareness programs, the President instructed that the participation of all relevant persons in these programs should be made compulsory.
“For whatever reason, the farmer’s income cannot be allowed to decline. The confidence of the farming community in this regard should be strengthened.” President Rajapaksa also said that the reluctance of farmers to switch to organic farming was due to the failed experiences at various times.
The Government has focused on providing the necessary financial assistance to local fertilizer producers. It is the responsibility of the companies concerned to improve their industry by providing high quality fertilizers on time.
Directing the billions of rupees spent over the years to import chemical fertilizers to the local industrialists has led to the building of a new local industry. It also strengthens the local industrialist, the President pointed out.
There have been reports of farmers not using high quality fertilizers due to misinformation. Organic fertilizer entrepreneurs said they were committed to the government’s policy of providing people with a non-toxic diet.
Representatives of the organic fertilizer companies presented statistics on the successful yields obtained using organic fertilizers produced by their companies during the last Maha season.
During the discussion, the officials pointed out that the farmers were discouraged as the media only pointed out the failures while there were many successes.
State Minister of Agriculture Shasheendra Rajapaksa said that the process of production and distribution of fertilizer is being successfully carried out with the formation of committees comprising farmers, agricultural officers, fertilizer companies, government officials and Army personnel covering all 25 districts.
Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, government officials, Chief of Defense Staff, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva and representatives of fertilizer companies were also present on the occasion.