The World Bank will provide financial assistance to Lanka for the supply of fertilizers



The World Bank has agreed to provide much needed financial assistance to debt-ridden Sri Lanka to obtain urea-based fertilizer for the upcoming Maha season in the country, according to a media report.

Maha Season falls during the northeast monsoon from September to March the following year. Currently, the Yala season continues. Yala is the paddy growing season in Sri Lanka which lasts between May and August.

The agreement between the WB and Sri Lanka was reached during a discussion held recently between Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and representatives of the World Bank office in Sri Lanka at the Ministry of Agriculture, reported Wednesday the Colombo Page news portal.

Amaraweera said World Bank officials have agreed to provide the appropriate financial assistance during the discussion held regarding obtaining chemical fertilizers needed to grow paddy during this year’s Maha season.

The minister said he appreciated the World Bank’s support for the program to provide rice to the people of the country without any shortage in the future.

Amaraweera further said that discussions should take place with other institutions such as the World Bank to provide the necessary fertilizers and agrochemicals for the cultivation of paddy as well as other crops.

The Sri Lankan government banned chemical fertilizers last year as part of a gradual transition to organic farming. The shortage of sufficient supplies of organic fertilizers has affected agricultural production, especially rice and tea, and caused food shortages with crop losses amounting to 50%.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa a few weeks ago admitted that his decision to ban chemical fertilizers to become 100% organic was a mistake.

Farmers have warned that the country could face a food shortage by mid-August amid the current economic crisis.

Last month, India assured Sri Lanka of immediate supply of 65,000 metric tons of urea to avoid any interruption in paddy cultivation.

Sri Lanka’s annual fertilizer imports cost US$400 million. Farmers across the country protested fertilizer shortages, saying they were being forced off their farmlands.

Sri Lanka has over 2 million farmers and up to 70% of its 22 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always endeavored to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and that have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your constant encouragement and feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these challenging times stemming from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative opinions and incisive commentary on relevant topical issues.
However, we have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to bring you more great content. Our subscription model has received an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of bringing you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism we are committed to.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

digital editor