Mothers concerned regarding fertilizer issue
Posted on July 30th, 2021

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Some Scandinavian countries and Bhutan who have converted to organic fertilizer have only achieved 18% and 10% respectively after 10 to 15 years 

This is for the kind attention H.E. the President and the Cabinet of Ministers. 

We are a group representing the mothers of this country. We are also professionals who have served this country for over 50 years and have contributed our share to the development of the country. 

Whilst we welcome the Government’s policy to introduce organic fertilizer to the agricultural sector, we are gravely concerned with the immediate ban on chemical fertilizer as such a measure would have an imminent negative impact on food production to sustain our growing population and eventually lead to a famine in the very near future. Academics, scientists and the intelligentsia in the country have endorsed that the move to organic farming should be gradual without disrupting the current farming activities. 

Before we proceed on this path, we should have a well- structured plan drawn up with the help of specialists and a gradually progress and embark on a massive campaign with appropriate policies. Organic farming entails preparation of soil to cope with the change and is long-term. 

Some Scandinavian countries and Bhutan who have converted to organic fertilizer have only achieved 18% and 10% respectively after 10 to 15 years. 

Furthermore, since Sri Lanka is an agricultural economy, agriculture should be given the greatest priority both for poverty alleviation and specially and for the improvement of the economy in general. The introduction of new technology, improved seedling and timely input of fertilizer and an efficient extension services are a must to sustain Food Security. 

Women constitute 52% of this country. Women are child bearers and double up as breadwinners; particularly in rural Sri Lanka. It is the women who are responsible to put food on the table and feed their children and their households. Women are the majority among the marginalised population of this country; living in dire straits and already heavily burdened with household chores, walking distance to access water. Imagine their plight if they have to deal with impending famine resulting from a policy decision to change into organic fertilizer overnight. 

We urge the President to consult and seek the advice of the many specialists in this country and have a plan of action to gradually move into organic farming without any disruption to the current farming activities by providing the farmers the needed fertilizers. We except the Precedent’s special attention to this matter and there by achieve his own expectations as well.

Signatures – Padma Nanayakkara, Rohini Nanayakkara, Mano Alles, Metta Kodikara, Sarojini Mudalige, Jeanne de Silva, Dhaleeni Rohim, Sakuntala Kuruppu, Enakshi Kotagama, Lilani Perera

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