'Erwinia' pathogen in China's organic fertilizer threat to agriculture, warns SL scientiststext_fields
Colombo: Sri Lankan scientists have warned that about 99,000 metric tonnes of organic fertiliser stock from China worth $63 million would be a farming disaster as they contain harmful microorganisms.
Preliminary tests on samples of organic fertiliser ready for import into Sri Lanka revealed that they were infected with Erwinia, a notorious plant pathogen that causes severe post-harvest losses in crops.
'Erwinia' pathogen detected in Chinese Organic Fertilize that can have a major effect on agriculture. It also affects root crops that are economically important and are grown in large amounts. Effect of this pathogen could be found even during the post-harvest," said Devika de Costa Professor of Plant protection attached to the University Peradeniya.
Farmers' rights activists have also raised concerns about the harmful species of bacteria were found in the fertiliser samples that were to be imported. "When importing these samples, none of the laws was followed," they said
Anuradha Tennakone, Chairman of the National Agrarian Unity, questioned whether the fertiliser had a safety certificate. He also stated that the Sri Lankan Standard Institute has been put under pressure to change its findings.
The organisation warned that the alleged organic fertiliser imported from China would cause far more harm than the chemical fertiliser.
Sri Lanka's opposition Marxist party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front), has claimed that China's urban waste will be dumped in the island nation as organic fertiliser. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the party's leader, complained that the awarding to China was questionable and that there had been undue attempts to award this tender to a Chinese company.
"We warned that it was China's waste that is going to be brought to Sri Lanka. It was a massive disaster that was to be done. A great loss has been caused to the farmers," he said.