Sri Lanka is a self-sufficient country that has heavily relied on agriculture for centuries, thus earning the name ‘granary of the east.’ Therefore, the farmers of that era could make the country prosperous by cultivating paddy.
At present, though, the farmers are unable to cultivate any crops for even a single season congruously. This has forced many farmers to depend on chemical fertilizers containing ammonium. These might seem like a feasible short-term resolution but would ultimately result in many adversities in time to come.
Lately, the Sri Lankan government has banned the import of chemical fertilizers, including insecticides and herbicides, into the country. Due to this, people whose primary livelihood had been farming were severely affected. In order to solve such a timely challenge, the Rotaract clubs of Battaramulla, Centennial United, Central Campus, CINEC Maritime Campus, Colombo Central, Colombo Fort, Colombo Mid City, Faculty of Medicine- Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Moratuwa, Pearl Island, Rathnapura, SLIIT, University of Moratuwa and Uva Wellassa University- Badulla have taken steps to lay the necessary foundation to combat this obstacle with the intent of aiding in the country’s economic empowerment.
To assist farmers lacking fertilizers, we selected the farming community at Ihala Bopitiya, a Grama Niladhari Division located in the Rathnapura District. Among a few long-term established, large-scale organic fertilizer manufacturers in the village, the general public has also recently recognized the need for organic fertilizers, thus leading them to initiate small-scale compost production in the villages of Ihala Bopitiya in collaboration with Agricultural Officers in the area.
Despite the need to produce homegrown fertilizers, the farmers lack market economy, knowledge, and methods of procuring raw materials. This is due to the inability to access infrastructure to implement a large-scale production process and lack of experience in large-scale organic fertilizer production.
Accordingly, the initiative was initiated with the support of 5-10 farmers in the area who have expressed their interest in developing the organic fertilizer production business to a commercial level in four phases. Further, by solving the identified problems mentioned above, at a time when the world is focusing on organic products, the market for organic fertilizer production is increasing in demand in Sri Lanka. At such a critical juncture, we look forward to achieving the goals of turning these farmers into successful entrepreneurs by recognizing the sustainability of organic fertilizer production. We, as Rotaractors, intend to forge a path to a prosperous economy, producing low-cost organic fertilizer and ensuring the profitability of the commercial production process in the market.
Moreover, generating extra income for the villagers, establishing a sustainable manufacturing process, providing the villagers with the required technical know-how for the sustainable manufacture of organic fertilizer, Improving the livelihoods of the village inhabitants through the introduction of a healthy economy to the community can be identified as the fundamental objectives of this initiative.
Accordingly, this project can be considered as an excellent opportunity to solve the fertilizer issue of the agricultural sector in our country and provide the required amount of fertilizer to all the farming families in the village, which in turn will benefit several unemployed families in the Ihala Bopitiya region by providing solutions to the problems of the village.
Penned By – The District Regional Engagement Team in collaboration with the Media Unit and the District Editorial Team