• Sun. Oct 17th, 2021

Indian and Chinese multinational corporations and financial institutions could influence the proposed ban on agrochemicals imports into Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan-based leftist agrarian movement warned the government of possible influences by Indian and Chinese multinational corporations and financial institutions to do away with the recent decision to ban the import of all agrochemicals to the country.

“Countries such as China, India, multinational corporations, and financial institutions are engaged
in large-scale organic fertilizer production. Thus, there is a possibility that the government might
import organic fertilizer or micro-organisms and again create an unfair system where farmers do
not benefit,” Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) in a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,

The movement claimed that certian companies have built oligopolies in the country since almost all agricultural inputs, used by Sri Lankan farmers are imported. It believes that promoting environmentally friendly agricultural practices can be a solution to all these problems.

However, it stressed that the government needs to take measures in ‘aking this political/ policy decision a reality at the grassroots with ‘a solution to practical challenges that might come up’ while ‘drawing lessons from local and international experiences’.

It recalled that the previous government also took a decision to promote organic agriculture in 2016. however, it noted
that initiative failed completely by 2018 and Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA), which
was entrusted with implementing the program, was also closed.

The Cabinet of Ministers on 27th of April 2021 approved the proposal to ban the import of all agrochemicals with immediate effect, with an ambitious goal to become the first nation to succeed in agriculture without the use of agrochemicals.

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