National Conference on Bio-Fertilizers and Bio-Pesticides in Sri Lanka

The first national conference on Bio fertilizer and Bio pesticides – From Development to Promotion was hosted by IWMI-HQ in Colombo in collaboration with two national universities (Wayamba University and Sabaragamuwa University) and the National Productivity Secretariat of Sri Lanka on November 29 – 30, 2017. This two day conference was funded by the Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, Japan.

The inauguration of the conference was graced by the Secretary to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Mr. Udaya R. Sevevirathna, along with our DG Claudia Sadoff and the Vice-chancellor of Sabaragamuwa and Wayaba Universities of Sri Lanka. The conference was attended by more than 150 participants consisting of policy makers, key government officials, industry representatives, academia and experts.

The Secretary highlighted the usage of agro-chemicals and its possible link to the wide spread Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu) in the agricultural regions in Sri Lanka and the importance of seeking of eco-friendly alternatives that have a reduced impact on the humans and the environment; where bio fertilizers and bio pesticides can be seen as one solution.

DG Claudia Sadoff mentioned the importance of organic content in soils to improve biological activities in soils in agricultural lands and IWMI’s contribution towards resource recovery from waste Under the MoU signed between IWMI and Ministry of Agriculture – Sri Lanka in 2016, she also highlighted the importance of promoting sustainable agricultural practices and IWMI’s work so far. Claudia also emphasized the importance of having a platform which consists of key stakeholders such as policy makers, regulators, industry and those working in academia in taking the industry to the next level.

At the conference a national committee on bio-fertilizer and Bio-Pesticides was formed with the aim of developing the local industry and the continuation of the conference biannually as a national or international conference was also discussed.

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