The Agriculture Ministry said that the pandemic, the chemical fertiliser business networks driven by farmer protests and the recent floods compelled the government to drop the ban on chemical fertiliser.
Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage reasoned that the government implemented the ban considering the health issues caused by chemicals and the damage to environment.
He pointed out that the stern action of banning chemical fertiliser was taken as they knew that the conversion from chemical to organic farming would not be possible if chemical fertiliser companies were allowed to import chemicals.
Mr Aluthgamage elaborated that even the farmers’ mindset was changed by chemical fertiliser business networks and that put the government under pressure.
“When we took the decision to ban chemical fertilizer, no one was able to predict that the COVID -19 pandemic would remain for such a long period”, he said.
He admitted that the state officials too were unable to help the farmers to produce organic fertiliser by visiting the fields. Furthermore, floods too contributed to issues with food security compelling the government to revoke the move on banning importation of chemical fertiliser.