When Worlds Collide #100: Seeds of Discord over Lanka’s new Seeds Act

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today broadsheet newspaper on 14 March 2014

Sri Lanka traditional rice - image from Wikipedia Sri Lanka traditional rice – image from Wikipedia

Is the Department of Agriculture (DoA) the biggest impediment to our pursuing sustainable agriculture in Sri Lanka?

I once posed this question to the late Dr Ray Wijewardene (1924-2010), who studied agricultural engineering at Cambridge University and experimented all his life on methods of farming that didn’t cost the Earth.

He agreed, saying: “They (DoA) are still following outmoded western methods which even the West is now questioning! The other problem is the huge gap between research and effective extension to the farmer.”

That was in 1995. Almost two decades on, calls for ecologically sustainable farming have gained much momentum – but the century-old Department still stubbornly remains stuck to its tired, old and destructive ways.

Take, for example, current concerns about the proposed New…

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