Glyphosate back: Plantations would take 10 yrs to recover
One bad decision has impacted an entire tea industry’s future that experts opine could take nearly a decade to overcome the over-growth of weeds on Sri Lankan plantations.
Weedicide, Glyphosate that was banned in the country for the past three years, has been brought back following the lifting of the ban in May this year but plantation companies believe it would take about 10 years to return the estates to normalcy.
Hayleys Plantations MD Roshan Rajadurai told the Business Times that the plantations would take about 10 years to return to its earlier state as the reduction in the weeds that are overgrown would take a gradual process to take effect.
Since the previous week Glyphosate has been imported and each Regional Plantation Company (RPC) provided with 2000 litres of the weedicide.
Mr. Rajadurai explained that about 1.5 litres of Glyphosate is required for each hectare of plantations land to wipe out the weeds.
His company alone manages 35,000 hectares of plantation land and they believe that returning the estates to normalcy would take them quite some time since weeds cannot be wiped out overnight.
Glyphosate today is imported by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) which was previously carried out by a number of private companies and which was then freely available in the open market. However, today due to the ongoing ban on the use of the pesticide which would be permitted only for rubber and tea sectors, authorities believe that they need to regulate the import of the product.
In this respect, regulating its import could be convenient if delivered through the CPC and stocks would be issued only twice a year as per the requirements of the plantations.
One of the severe impacts of the ban on Glyphosate was the loss of the Japanese market which maintains strict conditions in the import of Ceylon Tea. Due to the use of the alternative pesticides by the industry in the absence of Glyphosate it caused high residue levels of these weedicides being found in Ceylon Tea exported to Japan. As a result Japan banned the product and it’s now exported after careful laboratory tests to ensure that they do not contain residue levels above the norm stated by the importing country.
Source - http://www.sundaytimes.lk/181223/business-times/glyphosate-back-plantations-would-take-10-yrs-to-recover-326072.html?fbclid=IwAR3iNBCM1Q4qtLZLIqYv9dsXEvo4epxI_nUIOgf3vBA2XgMKEAOpIq2FEmo