COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has received the first consignment of 3.1 million litres high quality non-harmful Nano Nitrogen liquid fertiliser from India to help the island nation's Eastern province in the cultivation of maize and paddy, country's Agriculture Secretary Prof Udith Jayasinghe said on Wednesday.
The import of Nano Nitrogen liquid fertiliser came months after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's decision in May to stop chemical fertiliser imports sparked anger and widespread protests in the farmland districts of the country.
"This is the first lot of the full lot of 3.1 million liters and the use of these are not harmful," Prof Jayasinghe said while speaking to reporters here.
"This is a high quality Indian product which has come for praise from the Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi," Jayasinghe said.
He said they will further dispatch as a priority to cultivation areas in the Eastern province for maize and paddy cultivators' use.
Even some members within the ruling coalition have urged the government to reconsider the ban on the chemical fertilisers as the production of crops is going down.
Giving a hearing to the tea industry, the government a few weeks ago relaxed the ban allowing certain kinds of chemical fertilisers.
"Considering the fact that there has been a quality drop in tea that was produced in factories, the government has taken the decision to import sulphate of ammonia," the government spokesman and minister Ramesh Pathirana said earlier this week.
Rajapaksa had decided to impose a total ban on agrochemicals saying he wanted to make Sri Lankan farming 100 per cent organic.
He opted for the local production of organic fertiliser.
Analysts said the decision was primarily caused by the dearth of foreign reserves in US dollars to pay for the imports.
Sri Lanka's annual fertiliser imports cost 400 million US dollars, President Rajapaksa said.