The sudden switch to organic farming in Sri Lanka, which had unfortunate consequences, raised many questions about the effectiveness and practicality of the concept. In the meantime, the Chief Minister of Kerala recently announced an organic farming campaign in the state aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in the production of safe and wholesome food.
However, the developments in Sri Lanka have been widely noticed and many have become suspicious of the project. Although the government has decided to implement the organic campaign step by step, the concerns surrounding it have not yet subsided.
The decision to completely avoid the use of agrochemicals and promote organic alternatives in Sri Lanka failed to deliver the desired result and instead turned into a disaster. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced a ban on the import of agrochemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides, in April this year, aimed at ending the contamination of water resources and the spread of chronic diseases. The country hoped to become the first exclusively organic country in the world with this initiative.
Things took a new turn in a matter of months when the price of basic food items skyrocketed and the export of local products was hit. Food hoarding and rising cooking gas prices were some of the negative outcomes of the decision. This had a negative impact on the economy which was already going through a difficult period after the pandemic. Several agricultural and scientific experts have pointed to the poorly documented implementation of the organic movement and the government has come under heavy criticism.