Farmers urged to use organic fertiliser

*Prevention of kidney disease

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, speaking for the first time on the Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology (CKDu), urged farmers in the Polonnaruwa District to find alternatives to chemical based fertiliser.

The Health Ministry spokesman said yesterday that Minister Sirisena had met the farmers of the Polonnaruwa district on Wednesday (5).

The spokesman said Western countries had curtailed the use of agro-chemicals and pesticides after having introduced it to the third world. Quoting history, he said that

Sri Lanka did not become the granary of the East during the time of King Parakarama Bahu by using chemical fertilizer, instead they used organic fertilizer.

A majority of people ask for organic food items when they go to super markets. The modern farmers should concentrate on using organic fertilizer rather than harmful chemical fertilizer in agriculture, he said.

The World Health Organisation recently urged the government to formulate a regulatory framework, to screen the quality of imported fertilisers and pesticides and test them for nephro-toxic agents such as arsenic and cadmium. as they were known to cause kidney diseases.

Research shows that water in the North–Central and the Uva Provinces contains arsenic and cadmium. A local research team, which first came out with research findings, identified the presence of arsenic in the water as well as in the urine, nail and hair samples of CKDu victims.


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