News

Specify exact compensation for organic farming 

  • Farmers ask Government for precise amounts to be paid 

By Buddhika Samaraweera  

Farmers’ organisations have emphasised that the Ministry of Agriculture should, through a circular, publish the exact amount of compensation to be paid to crops damaged due to the use of organic fertilisers amidst the Government’s ban on chemical fertilisers. 

Speaking to the media yesterday (17), Agrarian Struggle Centre (ASC) member Indrananda Silva said that a circular should be issued, clearly stating the amount of compensation to be paid for crop damage due to the use of organic fertiliser and other relevant matters. 

“We would like to tell the Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage that we are not ready to be deceived any further. Therefore, the farmers should be made aware of the compensation to be paid to them in a formal and clear manner,” he said. 

Meanwhile, a senior official of the Agriculture Ministry, when contacted by The Morning, stated that the Agriculture Ministry Secretary Prof. Udith K. Jayasinghe-Mudalige would send a circular regarding the compensation for crop damages due to the use of organic fertiliser to all District Secretaries within this week. 

A proposal to ban the use and importation of chemical fertilisers and agrochemicals such as pesticides and herbicides/weedicides was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers by President Rajapaksa, and the same was granted approval, following which the relevant gazette notification was issued in May 2021. 

The Government has since decided to promote the use of organic fertilisers, and as a result, farmers were seen charging that there is a serious shortage of fertiliser for their cultivations over the past few months. A number of protests have also been organised by farmers’ organisations and various parties, demanding the Government provide a solution to the fertiliser shortage. 

Meanwhile, commenting to the media on the fertiliser issue last week, Aluthgamage claimed that all agitations regarding the fertiliser issue are organised by companies that import chemical fertilisers, and certain political parties. “Most of the protests in the villages demanding fertiliser are being organised by political parties. All these protests are being held against the Government, but we have clearly stated that fertiliser will be provided on time without any shortage. The Government will also pay compensation if organic fertiliser causes any crop damage” he added.