District Parliamentarian said that the Herbicides required for the Maha season cultivation are smuggled into the country in bulk illegally by boats and the entry of these herbicides without any proper inspection is a serious danger Says Mathale District parliamentarian Mrs Rohini Kaviratne. She further said that boats that used to smuggle Tumeric from India in the past year are now deployed to smuggle these chemicals in absence of agrochemicals .
At a press conference held at the office of the Leader of the Opposition today, MP Rohini Kaviratne further commented
“Now Kurunegala farmers are getting poor harvest due to pest attacks. Without fungicides Nuwara Eliya, Matale tea yield has decreased.
The Department of Agriculture states that a program to distribute fungicides and pesticides through Agrarian Service Centers is being implemented. While waiting in line at the Agrarian Services Center to buy a 50 kg pesticide and a 400-gallon fungicide, their crops are being damaged by those pests.
According to a recent paper submitted to the Cabinet, the Ministry of Agriculture is trying to give a monopoly on the import of agrochemicals to a single company. Today we are seeing the results of licensing 12 companies instead of 67 companies that were involved in sugar imports. Under this proposal, a single company will get a monopoly of 87% of the import of agrochemicals. We have to say, “After the introduction of the open economy in 1977, the government will take steps to establish a ‘boat agrochemicals’ and a ‘black market agrochemical trade’ when importing agrochemicals for the first time in Sri Lanka.