The Environment Ministry instructed the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) to provide their laboratory facilities to facilitate soil testing on farm land, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Addressing a meeting at the Ministry yesterday, he said the Environment Ministry and all its affiliated institutions should make their full contribution to the programme being carried out by the government to promote organic farming.
All ministries should cooperate in the organic farming programme initiated by the government at the instructions of the President.
"The GSMB currently has a fully equipped laboratory to facilitate soil testing, but the work is being done by the Agriculture Ministry. Soil tests are performed to obtain accurate data on the chemical conditions of farm land soil. After such soil tests, it is possible to get a successful harvest in the cultivation process," the Minister said.
Therefore, the Minister advised the officials if the farmers want to carry out a soil test on their farm, the necessary facilities can be provided by the GSMB laboratory.
"Natural herbicides and pesticides are planned to be developed with the financial assistance of the GSMB and the Technical Services Institute. A big problem in the process of popularizing organic farming is the lack of focus on herbicides and pesticides so far," he said.
Therefore, if the research carried out in our country to produce 100% eco-friendly herbicides and pesticides using several invasive plant species is successful, it will be a turning point in the local agriculture sector. Several invasive species that need to be removed from the environment have been identified and research is being carried out on them, the Minister said.
The Minister instructed to take steps to commence those activities with the least possible delay. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)