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Sri Lanka partly clears importer arrears to ease fertilizer shortage

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has paid some of the debt owed to importers for fertilizer subsidies in a bid to bring in more supplies and ease a shortage during the current cultivation season, Minister Bandula Gunewardene said.

“There was about 9 billion rupees owed to importers,” Minister Gunewardene said. “That is why there is a shortage.

“The Treasury has repaid them about 3 billion rupees. They will now be able to import again the ease the shortage.”

Sri Lanka’s main Maha cultivation season is now underway.

Despite fertilizer subsidies farmers productivity is low in many crops in Sri Lanka.

As a result, in addition to fertilizer subsidies, import duties are slapped to push up farmer profits and make ordinary people pay more, undermining the food security of the poorest segments of population.

But farmers lobbies are a politically powerful and their special interest have been placed before the food security of the poor for many years.

Sri Lanka’s new administration has promised free fertilizer from the next cultivation season. (Colombo/Jan10/2020)

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