Experts Warn Of Production Loss Due To Inorganic Fertilizer Ban 
Posted 17,June

By Chaveendra Dunuwille

In Local News

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Scientists and experts have directed their concerns to President Gotabaya  Rajapaksa with regard to the ban of imported inorganic fertilizers and have  stated that the nation which is already in a precarious financial situation may  run the risk of facing a substantial loss in production as a result of the ban  thereby affecting the nations export capacity and income with the inability to  deal with the stiff global competition.  

Crops such as Nutmeg, Cloves, Vanilla and Cardamom which are grown in an Agroforestry system will show no significant deviation in production capacity as  the farming of said spices rarely use inorganic fertilizers. The impact on coffee,  pepper and cocoa plantations would also be relatively small as inorganic  fertilizers can simply be substituted for green manure such as Glyricidia sepium.  

However production of other crops have a different story altogether and as  pointed out by the experts, 

Crop  Predicted Loss
Tea  Up to 50%
Paddy  30-35%
Maize  Up to 50%
Potato  30-50%
Sugarcane  30-40%
Cinnamon  25%
Betel  20%
Upcountry vegetables  30-50%
Floriculture/foliage plant  Almost 100%
Controlled environment  agriculture/Hydroponics  Almost 100%

 

Such trends have already been observed in nations which transitioned towards  organic fertilizers replacing their inorganic counter parts. Arguably bad for the  environment inorganic fertilizers tend to produce higher yields at a much faster  rate which inevitably helps keep up with the export and production demands of  a country. Therefore this resulting ban may put Sri Lanka in an uncomfortable  position in the foreseeable future unless a more acceptable alternative is  adopted.