Agri Dept joins CropLife SL to wipe out subpar agrochemicals

November 17, 2022

CropLife Sri Lanka hosted a special awareness workshop in Colombo on October 28, 2022, under the theme "Food Security and the Work of Agricultural Inputs".

The workshop, which saw a plethora of public and private professionals and local and international experts representing various sectors of the agri-industry taking part, raised awareness on government decisions taken without scientific and rational input which have led to a severe setback in the agriculture industry.

Citing the results of a survey conducted in the last quarter of 2021, the organization points out that due to poor decisions taken by the government, the total cost of crop production increased by 67 percent during that period, while the yield decreased by 54 percent.

“As a result, there has been a 45% increase in selling prices in all levels of the agricultural production sector, notes Chamenda Wijeratne, President of CropLife Sri Lanka.

Wijeratne states that in the wake of the economic crisis, the government's decision to suspend the import of basic inputs in the agricultural sector such as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and fertilizers had a severe impact on the entire agricultural sector.

“Although this decision was later withdrawn, we have had to experience its severe consequences today. Along with shortage of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers and seeds, substandard fake products have been smuggled into the country. Due to the low price of these products, which are brought fraudulently without paying taxes, some farmers have to use these because there are no other options,” he said.

He noted that farmers are unaware of the correct procedure for using counterfeit products, which are not registered or approved for use by the Registrar of Pesticides, adding that the labels on the products have instructions in different languages.

“In this situation, we are working to implement a comprehensive programme to protect out agriculture industry and farmers by trapping inferior fake products. The Registrar of Pesticides along with the Department of Agriculture, have joined us for this programme, across the province. Our aim is to establish a more productive agribusiness while ensuring the safety of farmers consumers and the environment,” he added.

CropLife Sri Lanka is a member of CropLife Asia, one of the six regional associations of CropLife International. Formed by a consortium of agricultural input importers registered with the Department of Agriculture, CropLife Sri Lanka's main objective is to continuously introduce new technical solutions for crop protection to the local farming community, innovating plant science to feed the growing population.