(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera said the Ministry of Agriculture is ready to lift the ban on herbicide glyphosate.
The Minister said this in a discussion held with the Sri Lanka Agripreneurs’ Forum on the “Future Path and Proposals to Sustainably Overcome the Food Crisis”.
Agricultural entrepreneurs said that although glyphosate is banned by law, inferior glyphosate powder and liquid are still being sold illegally at high prices, and approximately 1.5 billion rupees worth of glyphosate is being illegally imported into Sri Lanka every year.
It was also revealed that due to this, the government loses a large amount of revenue annually and the environmental and health damage caused by the use of substandard glyphosate cannot be disregarded.
Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Ajantha de Silva, expressing his views on the herbicide, said glyphosate is an essential general herbicide for perennial crops, and emphasized that maize cultivation cannot be successful by implementing the glyphosate ban, especially when maize is about to be widely cultivated.
Dr. Ajantha de Silva also pointed out that the ban on glyphosate should be removed as soon as possible.
The entrepreneurs also said they are ready to import glyphosate if the Department of Agriculture lifts the ban.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated that the ban on glyphosate, which is a powerful weed killer that has affected the yield of food crops including paddy and maize, should no longer be maintained and that the ban will be lifted to allow the import of glyphosate again for Maha season.