By Thameenah Razeek – ceylontoday.lk
There are no laboratory facilities in the country to analyse any organic fertiliser to determine whether it is harmful or not, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera revealed. Before any organic fertiliser is imported, the Government and competent authority should take steps to make laboratory facilities accessible for testing organic fertiliser, he said. He stressed that only after this process is completed that organic fertiliser can be imported. The quarantine section of the Port, on the other hand, will not allow imported organic fertiliser into the country without such an inspection.
Pointing out that the Government has taken special care to ensure that organic fertiliser is imported in a manner that does not hurt the country’s ecosystem, he said importing organic fertiliser without passing a laboratory test first could affect Sri Lankan crops as well as the environment, resulting in the appearance of a variety of plants and insects. As a result, the Minister stated that no action will be taken to import organic fertiliser without first conducting the necessary tests.
A group of journalists recently queried from Minister Amaraweera as to whether the Government has decided to import organic fertiliser instead of chemical fertiliser, and if by doing so various harmful substances from abroad could enter the country. In response, the Minister stated that this issue was also discussed extensively in the Cabinet meeting last Monday (31) and accordingly the Government has been vigilant in preventing the importation of organic fertiliser which could affect the country’s ecosystem.
The Minister went on to say that the mechanism used to import chemical fertilisers cannot be used to import organic fertilisers and it is a well-known truth that organic manure made from municipal waste is unfit for cultivation in any country. Finally, he stated that chemical fertilisers are submitted to chemical testing after importation, and that laboratory facilities are available in our country for this reason.