Experts from two of the world-renowned institutes on organic farming in Switzerland, currently on a brief visit to study the country’s ecosystem, an initiative of A. Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd (Baurs), met with Country officials from leading research institutes and academics, including tours of farming communities, including key sites and facilities, with many more planned in their itinerary.
On 05 August, the team of experts had fruitful discussions with Ms.HMJ Ilankoon Menike, Deputy Director General – Development of the Department of Agriculture of Peradeniya and Professor DKNG Pushpakumara, Senior Professor – Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya, one of the oldest and pioneering institute of higher agricultural education in the country.
While in Kandy, they visited an organic tea plantation in Galaha and visited the state-of-the-art laboratory of the National Institute for Basic Studies (NIFS) which conducts various cutting-edge research in natural and social sciences for development. nation and scientific advancement, including its Center for Advanced Research on Nitrogen Management in Agriculture (CARNMA).
They met Dr Lakshman Rodrigo – Director of the Rubber Research Institute, Dr Mme CS Ranasinghe – Director of the Coconut Research Institute, and researchers, including the principal agricultural scientist from the Center of Excellence for Organic Agriculture in Makandura, the government agency reporting to the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The team visited conventional farmers in Kalpitiya and Thambuththegama and observed some of the organic fertilizer processors in the Rajanganaya area, including a visit to the Dambulla vegetable market. They also organized a training session at the Baurs site in Anuradhapura for staff, agents, dealers, major farmers and compost producers, in compliance with strict Covid-19 health protocols, and continued to observe a newly established biological project.
Their 10-day visit to study the country’s agro-ecosystem comes at a time when Sri Lanka remains steadfast in its decision to ban chemical fertilizers and pesticides and adopt organic food cultivation, to achieve a nation healthy under its “Vistas of Prosperity and the National Splendor Policy Framework.”
The team of experts from the Institute for Research in Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the Faculty of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences (HAFL) in Switzerland, in collaboration with Baurs, will develop a scientific plan on a holistic approach to adopt a practically viable biological agroecosystem.