National policy on fertiliser needed - Chairman TRI
The continuous increase in fertiliser and fuel prices are the two
main challenges in the plantation sector today but the people in the
industry must prepare to face this challenge and find solutions,
Secretary Plantation Ministry Indrani Sugathadasa said.
Addressing the stakeholders of the tea industry at a workshop held at
the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute Colombo,
she said that according to modern thinking Chief Executive Officers of
companies should be COOs (Chief Outcome Officers) because in a business
profit, is the outcome which is important.
The Secretary said farmers should be educated on fertiliser as they
have certain misconceptions on up-country mix and middle country mix
It is also important to educate people on the value of organic
fertiliser as some underestimate it discouraging the organic fertiliser
She requested stakeholders in the industry not to turn to the
Government for subsidies as the Government cannot solve this problem due
to insufficient funds and for them to adjust to the situation. Chairman,
Tea Research Institute Gerry Jayawardena said because 34 per cent of
country's population is involved in agriculture, they should learn to
continue with that in a sustainable manner which is important for the
Sri Lankan economy.
He said the industry was able to save Rs. 600 million by using light
weight withering fans and another Rs. 240 million by reducing losses
through decreasing the quantity of fertiliser added, as a result of not
adopting good agricultural practices.
Jayawardena has proposed to the Government to improve soil fertility
by adding organic matter and hoped a national policy formula for energy
saving from the Government.