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Sri Lanka: Import ban on chemical fertilizers and other agro-chemicals: Effects on floriculture sector

In May 2021, the government of Sri Lanka enacted the Import and Export (control) Regulations No. 7, which banned the importation of chemical fertilizers and other agro-chemicals to the country and declared a green agricultural movement. The objective was to make agricultural systems more financially and environmentally sustainable. This swift change created a sense of uncertainty and unrest among farming communities who have been accustomed to input intensive agriculture throughout their lives.

Subsequently, the government lifted the ban on importing chemical fertilizers on November 30, 2021, allowing the private sector to resume importing chemical fertilizers. Yet, as a result of foreign exchange shortages and high international market prices, fertilizer
importation has not reached the volume of imports that was observed before the financial crisis.

In addition to the food crop sector, this situation has also had an impact on the floriculture industry. Although the floriculture industry in Sri Lanka generates relatively less foreign currency, it employs nearly 20,000 people directly and supports a similar number of people

A study was conducted by HARTI to identify the effects of the import ban on fertilizer and other agro-chemicals on farming communities growing flowering and non-flowering live plants, foliage, and cut flowers. Considering the fact that large commercial ventures for export are much more resilient to short-term shocks, they were exempted from this study.

Data collection was done through key informant interviews and by interviewing individual farmers using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire survey was carried out between October and November of 2022. The respondents were 142 farmers from the
four districts, namely Badulla, Kandy, Colombo, and Gampaha, where the floriculture industry is well established.

Read the complete study at

Ahangama, Geethani & Jayasooriya, Chinthaka & Dharmawardhana, Thushara & Buhary, Rifana & Munaweerage, Thilani & Bandara, Sidath & Hewage, Shantha & Rambodagedara, Malathi & Rathnayake, Dinusha. (2023). Import Ban on Chemical Fertilizers and Other Agro-chemicals: Effects on Floriculture Sector.

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