Lankan President frowns on promise to give free chemical fertiliser

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - Highlighting the danger of agrochemical intensive farming, President Maithripala Sirisena warns that the promises by presidential candidates to provide free artificial fertiliser to farmers is unwise.

Some leading candidates had promised to provide free artificial fertilizer to farmers, but it was judicious to move away from agrochemical intensive farming, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday in Matale.

Addressing an event connected to Moragahakanda project, Sirisena said that the time had come to move towards more sustainable agricultural practices.

"Most countries have realised the danger of agrochemical intensive farming. They are encouraging the use of organic agriculture. Those who want to import free fertilizer must also import kidneys because the more we use agrochemicals more people will get sick," he said.

Sirisena said that a number of studies across the world had shown that the use of agrochemicals was directly linked to increased kidney diseases. "Yes, we must encourage the farmers but I don’t think promoting excessive use of agrochemicals is the way forward. This can only result in disaster," he said.

The President added that agrochemical intensive farming, mono-cropping and clearing of forests do not only damage human health and the environment but also had little economic sense.

Both Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa have promised to provide free fertilizer to farmers.


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