22 November 2021, Colombo: Sri Lanka takes a U-turn from becoming the world’s first completely organic agriculture economy on Sunday, lifting its ban on importing pesticides and other agriculture inputs.
The country has been facing severe economic crisis with lack of foreign exchange, in turn triggering shortage of food, crude oil and essential goods. Food shortage has worsened in the past week, with prices for market staples such as rice & vegetables have doubled across the country.
The country had already lifted the restriction on fertilizer import last month for tea, which is the biggest foreign exchange earner.
Just before the planned farmer protest in the country’s capital, the agriculture ministry announced to end the blanket ban on all agrochemicals including herbicide and pesticides.
“We will now allow chemical inputs that are urgently needed. Considering the need to ensure food security, we have taken this decision.” ministry secretary Udit Jaysinghe told the media.
Huge farmlands were left uncultivated after the announcement of the agrochemical ban decision in May 2021.