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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Sri Lanka: Cultivators in search of organic fertilizer

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 March, (Asiantribune.com): Agricultural crops, including the three main cash crops - Tea Rubber and Coconut using petroleum based chemical fertilizer are going through a critical phase, due to the escalating petroleum prices, as cultivators find it difficult to manage their costs which deprives them a reasonable return and therefore appropriate remedial action is called for to prevent a crisis situation.

Sensing the impending crisis, the Coconut Growers Association (CGA) has now initiated a programme to popularize the use of organic fertilizer as a supplement to chemical fertilizer. Unlike in the case of Tea and Rubber, coconut lands have sufficient interspaces that will allow intensive cultivation of leguminous plants to provide bulk of the required organic matter.

Further, since the coconut triangle is in close proximity to urban areas an opportunity exists to use organic urban waste if they are composted. Although, some steps have been taken by a few local bodies and this has to be pursued with greater vigor at national level that will result in, not only providing the organic fertilizer requirements, but will further eliminate the existing health and environmental issues affecting the nation.

The Coconut Research Institute (CRI) has taken up this responsibility along with the support given by Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) and Coconut Development Authority (CDA) to popularize the use of organic fertilizer to supplement the chemical fertilizer.

Towards this end the CRI, at the request of the CGA has organized a one day workshop on the 24th March 2007 followed by a field visit to educate and encourage coconut growers in the use of organic fertilizer.

- Asian Tribune -

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