PM Modi assures fertiliser supply to Sri Lanka facing food crisis

PM Modi assures fertiliser supply to Sri Lanka facing food crisis
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a public meeting. [File] ANI

Colombo: Facing a disaster of severe food shortage over the worst economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of fertiliser for the ongoing cultivation season.

Rajapaksa on Wednesday announced that the fertiliser would be supplied with Indian loan assistance and has planned to supply it within 20 days once it is received here.

He announced this at a discussion on the current crisis in the irrigation and agriculture sector in the country held at the President’s House in Colombo.

The fertiliser is expected to be delivered for Yala season, one of the two cultivation seasons in the Indian Ocean island nation, starting from May and August.

The country saw a nearly 30 to 40 per cent drop in yield during Maha season which ended in March and April.

The agriculture experts and farmers have blamed Sri Lankan government’s overnight decision on April 27, 2021, to ban chemical fertiliser as the reason for major cultivation drop.

In April 2021, President Rajapaksa admitted ban on chemical fertiliser was a mistake and reversed the decision, yet the dollar crunch with current economic crisis has become a major hurdle to import the chemical fertiliser.

In early May 2022 following discussions with Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda, India had assured the supply of the much needed fertiliser.

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