Comment on the U-tube propaganda that mislead the public.
Posted on September 26th, 2022

Chandre Dharmawardana

I have gone thorough the following U-tube video and I am sad to see this kind of unsubstantiated claims misleading the public. This is just one of many.

[ටවුම මැද්දේ වගා කරන, ගල් පොළොවේ කුඹුරු කරන, ගොවි රජාගේ විශ්වකර්ම වැඩ

I urge the Sri Lankan scientific community to not to ignore this sort of thing says “this stuff is rubbish and so we don’t need to comment on the obvious“, or that there are too many of these and we don’t have time for it.

Countering the growth of weeds is necessary not only in a farm, but also in society

 It is the failure to counter this sort of nonsense that led to a group of local “scientists”, aided and abetted by Western funded local NGOs who are linked to Elite upper-class social groups in the West that led to the Fertilizer fisco in Sri Lanka.

ටවුම මැද්දේ වගා කරන, ගල් පොළොවේ කුඹුරු කරන, ගොවි රජාගේ විශ්වකර්ම වැඩ MAHA PURASAARAMAK.

  • People should look at this video and should note that anyone can plant anywhere if they have seeds. BUT WHAT IS THE HARVEST, given the effort and labour? Negligible.
  • People should note that anything planted close to a roadway where there are cars, diesel trucks, buses etc., going and belching out exhaust smoke (and toxins) will end up with seeds, tubers, vegetables that are polluted. The amount of pollution that fall on the soil at any given moment is small, but the plants, as they grow collect toxins (as they don’t have kidneys to  detoxify). This concentration effect is known as phyto-accumulation.
  • So, if you want clean food, use clean soil, away from roadways and urban pollution.
  •  Use of fertilizers containing even 10 times the toxins (like Cd, As) above the threshold prescribed by SL standards will NOT increase the soil concentration of these toxins by even few parts per billion, as can be simply demonstrated.

You see that the paddy plants he is showing have not grown properly, yellowish instead of lush green due to lack of nitrogen etc. Signs of stunted growth are all over on the plants he is showing.

If people can think that they can get get harvests from “Nikam Gal polowen” (sheer stone ground), as is claimed by this person, they are fooling themselves.

Whether it is a human baby, or a tiny plant, or a grown up adult , we know the amount of nutrient needed each day. If not there will be poor growth.

You don’t get something from nothing.

Adding a little goma (cow dung) and leaves collected around the garden cannot supply the needed nutrients.

In ancient times when  people did not have fertilizers, they began with a newly burnt Chena (“Nava-daeli hena”) in  a new, unused part of the forest.

That soil is fertile from having been a part of the forest, and the ash from the burning of the forest. But after three or four years  it has to be abandoned, and left for “puran” for some time until it grows a “Mukalaana” and recovers, ready to be burnt once again.

Such non-fertilizer cultivation may give you about 1.8-2 metric tonnes/hectare of paddy.  If fertilizer were used, it will give  5-8 metric tonnes per hectare.

But if you are not doing the burning and puran cycle, then you cannot get even the 1.8-2 metric tonnes/hectare of harvest,  if you start with a rocky infertile soil.

Even if this man’s urban plot on rocky soil may produce a very meager harvest, it will reduce to nothing very soon, after a few planting kanna. He does not say anywhere in his U-tube what yield he expects from the area of land he is cultivating.

Today, anyone can make a U-tube, and create an exaggerated “PURA-SAARASNG” talk that misleads the public and even the politicians.  It is their moment of glory – being a hero! Govi Rajaa !

It is this sort of nonsense, readily believed by many who have heard the claim that in ancient times we had plenty of food, who fell into the trap that the ex-President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa fell into.

He banned fertilizers, taking these myths on trust, instead of asking the likes of Ven. Ratana, Dr. Jayasumana, Asoka Abeygunawardana, Sanath Goonatileke of Californa,  and others of their ilk to demonstrate that their ideas work, by declaring, say, one of two villages to become “fully organic”, or “fully hela govithaena”, and seeing  what the harvests they get, if it is enough, and how it dwindles to nothing in just a couple of planting seasons.

The facts are well known to agricultural scientists.

The fact is that this “Govi Rajaa” is claiming to be able to do miracles (Visva-karma!).

 He does not use water to grow paddy. Goda-kumbura methods is a well known technique, and then weeds have to be removed regularly manually, and the plot watered adequately, with regular supply of fertilizer. If it is organic fertilizer, then tonnes of fertilizer, and not “just a bit of o-dung and leaves, stra”, that are needed.

The Mada-Kumbura method is used to take advantage of monsoon rains and use the water to prevent weeds growing. Rice is a grass that grows in water, unlike many weeds that grow on a Goda-Kumbura. Here too, adequate supply of nutrient is needed, since use of water leads to soil leaching and erosion

But if President Gotabhaya wanted to implement this kind of thing against the advise  of the scientific community (falsely claimed to be part of the fertilizer mafia), he should have first tried it on a small scale and satisfied for himself that it is actually so.

There are people who think that going fully organic is the right policy but that it should have been done more slowly, over a 10 year period. Even if it is streatched over a 50 year period.

That is also false.

IT CANNOT BE DONE due to simple reasons of land and water availability, soil chemistry and plant physiology, unless the world population can be halved, and unless that remaining half becomes vegetarian, and assuming that there is global warming is controlled.

[If you can post my message at the bottom of the U-tube for the benefit of others, I think it would be helpful to make people critical of it].

Chandre Dharmawardana

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