Limited glyphosate for tea, rubber thro’ CPC
Sri Lanka’s tea industry has been given a new lease of life after state authorities lifted the ban on glyphosate last month. It would however be made available only through the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) from next month.
Plantations Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith said that the delivery of the glyphosate weedicide would be made available only for the tea and rubbery from the CPC which has been authorised to import the stocks required. Glyphosate will still be banned for other users including in paddy cultivation.
He noted that they hope to deliver the product by around July 15 and added that the Ministry has already prepared the gazette containing details for the import of glyphosate for tea and rubber sectors and sent to the Legal Draftsman.
Previously there were a number of private companies that imported glyphosate and this was then freely available in the open market. However, today due to the ongoing ban on the use of the pesticide, this is being permitted solely to the rubber and tea sectors and hence the authorities believe that they need to regulate the import of the product.
In this respect, Mr. Ranjith pointed out that regulating its import could be convenient if delivered through the CPC and furthermore issued only twice a year as per the requirements of the plantations.
Plantation companies believe the product could be purchased directly from the CPC depots and not each CPC outlet adding that the modalities of import and delivery are still being worked out.
Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Roshan Rajadurai told the Business Times on Friday that they had submitted their requirements for the spraying of glyphosate to the ministry.
He explained that in the past as well the CPC had imported chemicals for use on the plantations and noted that this was within the CPC’s legal framework to purchase such stocks.
Mr. Rajadurai noted that the delivery of the pesticide was already late since due to the rains there has been an increased cover of weeds which would cause a loss in productivity and also provide low quality teas for export.
Already Sri Lanka is losing its market share in Japan by about 40 per cent due to the poor quality teas sent there which were rejected in the recent past and replaced by Kenyan teas. Sri Lanka exports at least 8 million kg of Ceylon Tea to Japan annually.
Source - http://www.sundaytimes.lk/180610/business-times/limited-glyphosate-for-tea-rubber-thro-cpc-297374.html