Reforming Fertilizer Import Policies for Sustainable Intensification of Agricultural Systems in Sri Lanka: Is there a Policy Failure?


September 13, 2021 - Jeevika Weerahewa, Athula Senaratne, Suresh Babu

Key Messages

  • Sri Lanka recently banned the importation of chemical fertilizers.

  • While easing of the foreign exchange burden from chemical fertilizer imports is the prime motive behind the new policy, the policy will very likely result in yield losses of key crops, increased rural poverty and rural-urban migration, agricultural export revenue loss, and an increased food import bill.

  • Other adverse effects of the ban are likely to include rent seeking behaviour, creation of monopoly power, importation of sub-standard organic fertilizer substitutes, and illegal trade of items under the ban.

  • Potential alternatives to the ban are economic instruments and regulatory measures to reduce inappropriate use of chemical fertilizers, strengthening the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to enhance food safety, and providing targeted assistance for the adoption of sustainable land use management practices.


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