Malima Episode #10: How to trigger an organic farming revolution…

Malima (New Directions in Innovation) is a Sinhala language TV series on science, technology and innovation. This episode was produced and first broadcast by Sri Lanka’s Rupavahini TV channel on 26 July 2012.

Malima: Episode 10 presented by Nalaka Gunawardene from Nalaka Gunawardene on Vimeo.

Produced by Suminda Thilakasena and hosted by science writer Nalaka Gunawardene, this episode features the following items:

• An interview with K M Wijepala, proprietor of Wijaya Agro Products in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, who has developed an entirely organic, liquid fertilizer as a substitute for imported, costly chemical fertilizers. Named GOLF (Gold Organic Lanka Fertilizer), it provides all required nutrients for all kinds of crops according to the innovator. Already patented in Sri Lanka, GOLF’s efficacy has been tested and confirmed by the state’s Tea Research Institute (TRI) and Industrial Technology Institute (ITI). Wijepala, a former field officer of the Department of Agriculture, is giving the recipe away to his fellow farmers as his contribution to a chemicals-free future for agriculture. In his view, the only ‘obstacle’ standing in the way of popularising this indigenous, low-cost fertilizer is the huge state subsidy given to imported chemical fertilizers. GOLF sells at one fifth of the real cost of chemical fertilizers but the 90% subsidy distorts the market. As long as the subsidy continues, farmers will have no interest or incentive in looking at any alternatives.

• An interview with young inventor Samali Gunasekera, a Grade 13 student at Bomiriya Central College, Kaduwala, Sri Lanka, who has designed a multipurpose helping handle for the kitchen. It helps raise cooking vessels, kettles and other utensils; it is also fitted with a spoon. This handle can make life easier for everyone including those with disabilities.

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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