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Sri Lankan experience with organic farming might be a lesson for Kerala

The sudden switch to organic farming in Sri Lanka, that had some unfortunate consequences, has raised many questions regarding the concept's efficacy and practicality. In the meantime, the Chief Minister of Kerala recently announced an organic farming drive in the state aiming at achieving self-sufficiency in the production of safe and healthy food.

However, the developments in Sri Lanka were widely noticed and many became suspicious about the project. Though the government has decided to implement the organic drive step by step, the concerns surrounding it have not settled yet.

The move to completely avoid use of agrochemicals and promote organic alternatives in Sri Lanka did not yield the expected outcome and instead turned into a catastrophe. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced the ban on import of agrochemical products including fertilizers and pesticides in April this year aiming to put an end to the contamination of water resources and spread of chronic diseases. The country hoped to become the first organic-only nation in the world with this initiative.

Things took a new turn in a few months when the price of essential food items soared and the export of local produce got hit. Hoarding of food and price hike of cooking gas were some of the negative outcomes of the decision. This made an adverse impact on the economy that was already facing a tough time following the pandemic. Several agricultural experts and scientists stressed on the poor-researched implementation of the organic movement and the government was vehemently criticized.


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