The escalating prices of petroleum based fertiliser in the international market have impacted the agricultural sector including the three main commercial crops of tea, rubber and coconut, President- the Coconut Growers Association (CGA) Nimal Samarakkody said.
He said that CGA having recognised the urgent need for an immediate solution, initiated a programme to popularize the use of organic fertilizer as a supplement to chemical fertiliser.
At present coconut growers have to pay Rs. 42,000 for a ton of urea or chemical fertiliser, which resulted in many growers refraining from applying fertiliser for their plantation.
This would directly impact the total coconut output which is around three billion nuts an year on average, he said. Unlike in the case of tea and rubber, coconut lands have sufficient interspaces that will allow intensive cultivation of leguminous plants to provide bulk of the required organic matter.
Further, since the coconut triangle is in close proximity to urban areas an opportunity exists to use organic urban waste if they are composted.
Although some steps have been taken by a few local bodies this has to be pursued with greater vigour at national level that will result in not only providing the organic fertiliser requirement but will further eliminate the existing health and environment issues affecting the nation.