Slams Govt., citing perilous state of food security
By Buddhika SamaraweeraThe Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has claimed that the present Government has acted to undermine the food security of the country, which is part of national security, and that the entire Government is responsible for this. Speaking to the media yesterday (17), JVP Politburo Member Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that at one time, national security was defined only to protect the country and the people from armed attacks, noting however that the definition has now become much broader. “Counter terrorism, crime reduction, economic security, energy security, environmental security, food security, and cyber security are all now under national security,” he noted. He further stated that the food security of the country is being destroyed due to the sudden decision taken by the Government to ban the use of chemical fertilisers and use organic fertilisers instead. He also said that there is no country in the world that has resorted to the use of organic fertilisers 100% even through gradual, step by step implementation. “Despite the high-quality products obtained through organic farming, it has been proven that yields will inevitably fall by 20-25%. Now we are seeing how unscientific it was to switch to organic farming overnight. All the measures taken to ban chemical inputs at once have resulted in a crisis now,” he added. Dr. Jayatissa further said that there should be enough products in the country, and that if there are not enough products available locally, there should be US dollar reserves in the country to import such products. However, he noted that at present, there is a major crisis in the country due to the lack of local products and sufficient dollar reserves. Speaking further, he said that agriculture, the foundation of Sri Lanka, was collapsing, and that the Government should therefore act now on the advice of agricultural experts. Although the Government’s decision on chemical fertiliser is to be withdrawn, the damage to agriculture so far cannot be completely prevented, but it can at least be minimised, he said.