The government has decided to allow the private sector to import chemical fertilizer, pesticide and weedicide with effect from today (24), Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage said.
Minister Aluthgamage said a gazette notification will be issued today repealing the gazette issued on April 26 this year banning the import of chemical fertiliser.
Addressing the media, the Minister said however the government will go ahead with its green agriculture policy.
“The past seven months was a challenge to the government. There was no support within the government to promote organic agriculture. Out of 800,000 hectares, 650,000 hectares of fields are being prepared by farmers for the Maha season. Considering the pleas by farmers and the public, the government took this decision,” Aluthgamage said.
According to the Agriculture Minister, a mechanism will be introduced by the government to monitor and regulate fertiliser imported to the country.
“The government will continue with its determined green agriculture policy. The President appointed two State Ministers for both organic food and organic fertiliser.,” he said.
The Registrar of Pesticides who issued the controversial gazette removing the prohibition of several chemicals has been transferred to the Agriculture Ministry.
“The gazette has been issued without consulting me or the Secretary to the Ministry or the Director General of Agriculture. I have ordered an inquiry into the issuing of the gazette. Already there is an ongoing disciplinary inquiry against him over favouring a certain chemical fertilizer importer,” Aluthgamage said.
However, Timesonline learns that the Registrar of Pesticides had relevant approval to issue the gazette notification.