While claiming that the government and the opposition had no vision and policy on organic farming, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the person who supported the organic farming would win the next presidential election.
Participating in the committee stage debate of the Agricultural Ministry, he said some opposition MPs spoke on the need to completely lift the glyphosate ban and added that the opposition had no vision on the matter.
The Thera said farmers did not demand glyphosate after it was banned in 2015 whereas the government removed the ban for tea and rubber cultivation.
"Small tea estate owners make up 60 per cent of the country’s tea production. But these small scale tea planters do not use glyphosate. It is used only by the large scale tea estate owners who make only 26 per cent of the country's tea production," he said.
He said many countries such as US and India had banned herbicides and added that the ban in Sri Lanka helped protect eco-systems and spared grass for cattle.
"Glyphosate was identified as a main cause for cancer and kidney disease," he said.
The Thera said even though the government took a decision to give cash to farmers instead of fertilizer subsidiary, farmers had not received it so far.
He said politicians were eager to give fertilizer instead of cash grants because they could earn huge amount of money through fertilizer imports.
"The politicians earn millions through tender procedure," he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)