ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will pay a subsidy of up to 25,000 to rice farmers who produce organic fertilizer in the upcoming Maha main cultivation season, Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana said, amid a ban on chemical fertilizer.
About 800,000 hectares are expected to be sown with paddy in the upcoming season.
The cabinet had cleared making a payment of 12,500 rupees per hectare up to two hectares (5 acres) to farmers who produce their own organic fertilizer.
Minister Pathirana said farmers are encouraged to produce organic fertilizer and some companies were also producing organic fertilizer.
Many farmers are protesting the lack of fertilizer in the current season.
There have been concerns raised that the lack of chemical fertilizer would hit yields.
The government has said Sri Lanka is spending around 400 million US dollar a year on importing fertilizers which are mostly given free to farmers.
Sri Lanka is facing a severe foreign exchange shortage after unprecedented money printing and the worst trade controls since the 1970s have been imposed, on the country.
If the 12,500 rupee payment is made by printing money, analysts say forex shortages will worsen. (Colombo/July13/2021)