Ban on chemical fertilizer use timely – Chamal

Chamal Rajapaksa

Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banned the use of chemical fertilizers as its use has caused health problems especially for people suffering from a number of Non Communicable Diseases such as Chronic Kidney disease.

He added that certain political parties with vested interests are behind the protests staged against the ban on chemical fertilizer imports.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had decided to ban chemical fertilizers because of the health effects it has on people suffering from Non Communicable Diseases such as kidney disease due to side effects of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides,” the Minister said.

“Although it is not a popular decision, it should be implemented, he said, adding that there were some political parties behind the protests staged to spread false rumours that there was a fertilizer shortage throughout the country.

Minister Rajapaksa was addressing a media briefing after participating in the establishment of the Medamulana Organic Fertilizer Production Village under the Organic Fertilizer Villages Project.

The Minister also said, the President took a tough decision to stop chemical fertilizer imports thinking of the people of this country. At present, the number of kidney patients has seen a significant increase throughout the country.

“The Divisional Secretary told me that assistance is being provided to 58 kidney patients in the Weeraketiya Divisional Secretariat area. This is a very serious situation and we need to find solutions,” Minister Rajapaksa said.

“There is a wave of well planned protests organised by political parties with ulterior motives about an alleged fertilizer shortage. Our soil has been destroyed by the use of agrochemicals for many years.We have to work hard to restore the soil. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are easy to apply. Farmers should try to apply organic fertilizer, even if it is a little difficult. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides have created many side effects and health implications in the country. We cannot wait for the people of this country to suffer from these side effects. That is why the President took a tough decision regarding chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides,” the Minister said.

Hambantota District Secretary A.C.Sumanasekera, Weeraketiya Divisional Secretary Kumudu Lokuhewagama, Agriculture Officers and area residents were present.

(Source: Daily News – M.Irfan Zakariya)