CPC to Import Glyphosate by Oct.
Despite mixed signal from various government quarters, Sri Lanka is preparing to import the weedkiller glyphosate from October with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) already commencing the procurement process.
Glyphosate was banned in the country in 2015 for use in plantations and other agricultural crops but was lifted in July this year and now authorities are to ensure that this would be made available exclusively for tea and rubber industries.
Plantation Industries Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith told the Business Times on Thursday that the CPC has already commenced the procurement process of the substance in a bid to import it.
He pointed out that it was likely that the CPC could commence imports and explained that there was no need for them to await the next gazette on the restriction of the use of the substance solely on tea and rubber plantations.
The glyphosate ban has been lifted but the right to import the product and use it exclusively on the tea and rubber plantations is yet to be announced by the government.
CPC Manager Agrochemicals B.S.S. Perera told the Business Times that they have called for tenders this month and the suppliers that have bid would be sent for approval from the Registrar of Pesticides. This process is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
He noted that the Plantation Ministry had made a requirement of one million litres but that they had ordered for only around a half a million litres of supply of glyphosate in the tender.
Once the process is complete, Mr. Perera said they were likely to import the first stock of glyphosate in the first week of October.
Authorities have not yet issued the relevant gazette notification announcing the use of glyphosate on the tea and rubber plantations, an official at the office of the Registrar of Pesticides told the Business Times.
It was noted that the relevant document requesting the Attorney General’s Department to authorize the use of glyphosate on the tea and rubber plantations have been sent about two weeks back by the Plantation Industries Ministry.
Meanwhile, the industry was confused as to the correct situation in the country’s stance for the importation of glyphosate.
“We are confused and we are in a very bad situation – it has gone beyond the tipping point,” Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Roshan Rajadurai said.
He noted that in fact “to undo the damage in the past it would take long years,” adding that due to the presence of the weeds they were unable to fertilise the plants.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised by some in government circles on the recent decision by a US court in favour of a terminally ill cancer patient, Dewayne Johnson for whom damages were ordered to be paid by Bayer amounting to US$289 million. News reports said that lawyers were able to convince a jury that glyphosate made by Monsanto owned by Bayer had caused Mr. Johnson’s cancer.
Source - www.sundaytimes.lk/180826/business-times/cpc-to-import-glyphosate-by-oct-308011