Friday, July 22, 2011

"Sustainable non-toxic Agriculture"

There was an extremely useful commentary today on page 8 of the Island Newspaper (July 22nd) by the biodiversity and "analog forestry" expert Dr Ranil Senanayake a grandson of Mr FR Senanayake with the above caption. It is very unfortunate that the very logical and practical suggestions made by him does not get sufficient prominence in especially the Sinhala media for the benefit of our rural farmers.

Unlike those who advocate a complete ban of biocides (pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) he recommends a gradual weaning off of our farmers of the definite overuse of the said biocides in order to improve the quality of our soils in order to return to a more productive and sustainable future in our Agriculture. In the same vein as I have been horrified by the increase in the subsidy on chemical fertilizer to a cost of Rs50Billion, we must try and reduce this dependence which has a very high carbon footprint in a country that is pretending to enhance its reputation as an environmentally sensitive and "GREEN" country.

The acts of the state for purely short term political gains is raping our future, by increasing the use and not reducing its use(fossil carbon). We must educate the people on this folly. It is not easy, but must be done to save our agricultural future before our land becomes completely infertile.

The article goes on to explain the food chain process, where right at the top we humans are consuming a lethal toxin to the extent that "WE SUFFER THE HIGHEST PESTICIDE RELATED DEATH TOLL ON THE PLANET" That is something for us to think about, as it is encouraged and not discouraged by the state!

So please lets start now before it is too late, understand the dependence, NOT REFER TO PESTICIDES AS BEHETH AND INSTEAD CALL IT WASA VISA, and give our farmers real help in presenting an alternative method at achieving the same or better net incomes for our farmers.

Thanks Ranil keep up the good work and try and get your points to the powers in subtle or direct ways, you owe it as a duty to create the vision of the country of your and our forefathers. Try and offer your services at no cost as a public service, as no one in SL agriculture can afford your NGO reflective remuneration.


Anonymous said...

Just go to any small town and see where the farmers are gathered at. They are at the few stores that sell the biocides. Further they ask the store owners and/or staff about what they can do for a particular problem. The staff recommend the use of a "Lethal Cide"

Where are the graduates from the Agricultural Faculties? They are supposed to be the advisers. However they rarely advise and spend most of their paid time attending to private and personal matters.

The farmer needs a lot of massaging his ego, before weaning him off these lethal mixes. It is time a well thought out plan of action be formally and determinedly introduced without isolating or in anyway alienating the farmers

Anonymous said...

Teaching, training and threatening have to go hand in hand to ensure that the quality of the food we eat is as clean as possible.

This practice of spraying a day before harvesting is egregious, but commonplace, and something has to be done to stop it as the farmers clearly know they should not do it but they don't care.

If only the consumer realized that the farmer rarely eats the food he grows, because he knows what it contains. His food is free of any biocides!!

Anonymous said...

The usual government inaction and lack of a coherent policy to develop agriculture in a sustainable and productive manner.

No policy makers have any idea of the subject so tend to make huge assumptions that are farfetched