ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has met officials to ensure supplies of fertilizer with for the Yala cultivation season, with subsidized fertilizer being offered for small farmers.
Sri Lanka’s government is giving three types of fertilizer at subsidized price of 500 rupees for a 50 kilogram bag to farmers who cultivate less than 2 acres of paddy.
Sri Lanka’s state fertilizer companies have ordered new supplies, for the Yala season which have not yet arrived in the country.
President Rajapaksa had called a meeting of Finance, Mahaweli, Irrigation and fertilizer companies for a meeting on March 03.
He had asked official to ensure that adequate supplies were available and an effective distribution of fertilizer be made.
Subsidies had encouraged the over-use of fertilizer, critics have said.
Sri Lanka’s National Fertilizer Secretariat had said earlier that farmers were cultivating more vegetables after prices went up in the last few weeks requiring extra fertilizer.
Farmers are inclined to use excessive quantities of fertilizer, in hope of a bigger harvest, officials had said.
President Rajapaksa had said farmers should be educated on the harmful effects of chemical fertilizer and promote the use of organic fertilizer.
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In January the Treasury had paid 3.0 billion rupees in subsidy arrears to fertilizer companies in a bid to increase imports. (Colombo/Mar03/2020)