Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - 2021-11-21


After incessant rains, desperate search for pesticide, fungicide and fertiliser


By Shelton Hettiarchchi

Nuwara Eliya farmers are desperately searching for chemical fertiliser and fungicide to save whatever left of their cultivation in the aftermath of incessant heavy rains in the past two weeks. They said the only way they could get some revenue to cover their investments was by applying chemical fertiliser and therefore they were forced to buy it in the black market at exorbitant prices. The farmers said a large portion of their cultivation was destroyed by the non-stop heavy rains and now their only focus was to protect the remaining plants which were being infected by fungi and pests. Previously, they used chemical pesticide and fungicide to protect the plants. Unable to buy these items, they hit out at the Government saying the authorities had failed to make available the alternatives for chemical fertiliser, pesticide and fungicide. Faced with difficulties, some farmers have started harvesting the crops before they mature, fearing that longer they wait the more the loss they have to incur due to the fungus infection. The district's vegetable traders warn of a more severe vegetable shortage during the festive season. One trader said that he bought 15,000 kilograms of vegetables daily from Nuwara Eliya farmers, but now he could not even buy 5,000 kilograms.


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