India has promised to supply 65,000 metric tonnes of urea to Sri Lanka immediately so as not to disrupt rice cultivation in the country as it faces the worst economic crisis in its post-independence history.
In New Delhi, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda met with Fertilizer Secretary Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi in New Delhi on Thursday to discuss the supply of urea required for the current yala cultivation season in Sri Lanka, according to media reports here. Saturday.
Moragoda thanked Chaturvedi for India’s decision to supply 85,000 metric tonnes of urea required for the current yala cultivation season in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi said in a statement.
Despite a ban on urea exports from India, the Indian government has decided to supply this quantity of urea to Sri Lanka immediately at the request of the Sri Lankan government, the Sri Lankan High Commission said in a statement.
High Commissioner Moragoda, in consultation with Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bagle in Colombo, thanked Secretary Chaturvedi for the necessary approvals and arrangements for the supply of 65,000 metric tonnes of urea to Sri Lanka.
In reply, Chaturvedi said that his department was always ready to support Sri Lanka in line with India’s ‘Neighbor First’ policy, and that the department was making arrangements to send the required quantity of urea to Sri Lanka from the nearest port through a state company. Coming under him.
The High Commissioner and the Secretary discussed ways and means to ensure continuous supply of chemical fertilizers from India to Sri Lanka under the current credit line and beyond.
India has pledged more than 3 3 billion to Sri Lanka, which has been mired in debt, credit lines and credit swaps since January this year.
Yala is the rice growing season in Sri Lanka which runs from May to August.
Sri Lanka is aiming to encourage its agricultural sector to avoid any disruption in the agricultural market following the decline in paddy cultivation at the General Assembly.
The Sri Lankan government banned chemical fertilizers last year as part of a phased change in organic farming. Lack of adequate supply of organic manure has affected agricultural production, especially rice and rice, and the government has recently lifted restrictions on a number of major crops.
Sri Lanka’s annual fertilizer import costs USD 400 million. Farmers across Sri Lanka have intensified their protests over the lack of fertilizer and forcing them to abandon their farmland.
According to the Daily Mirror, an online news portal, the ban on chemical fertilizers combined with bad weather has reduced crop yields and food inflation rose to a 47-month high of 8.3 percent in October from 11.7 percent, the Daily Mirror reported.
Sri Lanka has more than 2 million farmers and up to 70 per cent of its 22 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture.
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has been caused in part by a lack of foreign exchange, which means the country cannot afford major food and fuel imports, leading to sharp deficits and very high prices.
The crisis has sparked widespread protests, calling for political reform and the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
On April 1, President Gotabaya declared a state of emergency in Rajapaksa, lifting it five days later. The government re-imposed a state of emergency on May 6, after police fired tear gas and arrested students protesting near parliament, which was adjourned until May 17.
Although the protests were very peaceful, police shot a protester on April 19 and used teargas and watercraft against protesters on several occasions. Authorities have made numerous arrests and imposed repeated curfews.
The political crisis began in late March when people were injured by long hours of power outages and the necessary shortages took to the streets to demand the resignation of the government.
President Rajapaksa fired his cabinet and appointed a young cabinet in response to his resignation. Protests have been going on in front of his secretariat for more than a month.
On Monday, his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister to pave the way for the president to appoint an interim all-party government. On Thursday, Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as the new Prime Minister of the country.
India has said it looks forward to working with the new Sri Lankan government formed in a democratic process and will continue New Delhi’s commitment to the people of the island nation.