Sri Lankan tea industry faces devastating crop losses following glyphosate ban

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A Sri Lankan tea plantation. Photo by Christophe Meneboeuf/Wikimedia

The Planters Association of Ceylon (PA), faced with devastating crop losses in excess of Rs. 15 billion in 2016, is urging the Government to immediately provide a rational and effective solution to the management of chemical weeding in the estate sector in a commercially viable manner.

Since the Government imposed its blanket ban of glyphosate-based weedicides in May 2015, agricultural productivity – particularly in the estate sector – has been slowly collapsing.

Commenting on the unprecedented dangers facing his industry, PA Media Convener, Roshan Rajadurai warned … that if an alternative chemical weedicide capable of matching up to the commercially viability of glyphosate was not presented by the Government on an urgent basis, the quality and productivity of Sri Lankan tea would be irreversibly compromised as a result of deteriorating ground conditions.

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He added that while the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) had long ago adopted comprehensively integrated weed management systems and techniques – comprising of biological, cultural, manual and chemical weeding techniques – on par if not better than international agricultural and plantation best practices, chemical-based weedicides have remained a necessity throughout.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Major crisis in Sri Lankan plantations due to ban on weedicides