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Sri Lanka Maha 2021 rice harvest drop 40-pct crop due to fertilizer ban

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Maha 2021 rough rice harvest hit by a chemical fertilizer ban had dropped 40 percent from a year earlier to 1.8 million metric tonnes, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

In the 2020/2021 the paddy harvest was 1,862,901 metric tonnes, down from 3,061,394 in 2020, Minister Amaraweera told parliament.

Milled rice is about 68 percent of the paddy harvest.

Sri Lanka banned chemical fertilizer after the Government Medical Officer Association said agro-chemical s caused non-communicable diseases and according to Pliny the Elder, a Roman author who had produced an encyclopedia about 2000 years ago, ancient Sri Lankans had lived for around 140 years and their life expectancy had now almost halved to 74 years.

The government had promised to compensate farmers whose yield fell due to the fertilizer ban but no one had been compensated so far, Minister Amaraweera said.

There were 923,000 farmers listed.

“If there are any drop in the harvest during the 21/22 year, the affected farmer will be given the following compensation to secure their income for a maximum of 5-acre cultivation land,”

“I have informed PM and the cabinet that we need around 15,000 million rupees for that and to give us that,” Minister Amaraweera said.  “If we get that we will give that to the farmers.”

0.5 acres or less              -50 rupees per kilogram

More than 0.5 to 1 acre -50 rupees per kilogram

From 1 to 2.5 acres         -37.50 rupees per kilogram

From 2.5 to 5.0 acres     -25 rupees per kilogram

Minister Amaraweera said production drop in each district during the last Maha season was as follows.

Colombo            -41 percent

Gampaha           -27 percent

Kalutara              -49 percent

Kandy                  -42 percent

Matale                -31 percent

Nuwara Eliya     -55 percent

Galle                    -44 percent

Matara               -50 percent

Hambanthota   -51 percent

Jaffna                  -41 percent

Mannar              -55 percent

Vavuniya            -48 percent

Mullaitivu           -53 percent

Kilinochchi         -61 percent

Batticaloa           -71 percent

Ampara              -41 percent

Trincomalee      -44 percent

Kurunegala        -45 percent

Puttalam            -48 percent

Anuradhapura  -58 percent

Polonnaruwa    -51 percent

Badulla               -45 percent

Monaragala       -39 percent

Rathnapura       -44 percent

Kegall                  -44 percent

(Colombo/ June 14/2022)

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