Sri Lanka‘s agri product price rises by 45 percent due to Fertilizer ban
Croplife Sri Lanka an organization with local members of importers and manufacturers of agricultural inputs affiliated to Croplife International recently disclosed that agriculture production cost rose 67% during the last quarter of 2021 whilst production slumped by 54% due to the Government’s decision to ban imports of chemical fertilizer.
“As a result, prices of agricultural produce increased by much as 45% adding to the cost-of-living crisis impacting the country,” the company said at a forum it hosted focusing on the “Role of Agric-Inputs in Food Security” featuring several leading private and public sector experts from the industry.
“The Government was forced to go back on its decision, but its adverse impacts are still felt today and will be for longer,” Croplife Sri Lanka Chairman Chamenda Wijerathne told the forum.
“On the back of this crisis, inferior quality fertilizer, weedicides and insecticides have made their way into the market. Some of them have come in through illegal channels. Due to their low cost some farmers have opted to use these harmful products on fields,” he added.
Noting that farmers lacked proper understanding on how to use these products, Croplife initiated a program to protect farmers, the industry and produce from such schemes. This initiative also encompasses the agriculture ministry and is vital for the sustainability of the industry according to Wijerathne.
Croplife Sri Lanka is the local arm of Croplife International and Croplife Asia. It consists of importers and manufacturers of agricultural inputs registered with the Department of Agriculture and aims to ensure agriculture and farmer sustainability through innovation.
An estimated 6.3 million people in Sri Lanka are facing moderate to severe acute food insecurity and their situation is expected to worsen if adequate life-saving assistance and livelihood support is not provided, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned in a new report .
Two consecutive seasons of poor harvests led to a nearly 50 percent drop in production coupled with reduced imports of food grains due to foreign exchange constraints, according to the joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) report.
The report notes that immediate food assistance and livelihood programmes – including through existing social assistance mechanisms – are critical to enable households to access nutritious food – particularly moderately and severely acute food insecure ones.
Without assistance, the food security situation is expected to deteriorate further, particularly during the October 2022 to February 2023 lean season, driven by poor harvests of staple foods, in particular paddy rice, and the ongoing economic crisis.