A. Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., widely known as Baurs, a diverse business group and one of the pioneers of agriculture in Sri Lanka, recently shared key ideas and solutions preliminary steps for the country’s agricultural industry to successfully master the conversion from conventional to organic, supported by scientific evidence and sound knowledge drawn from professional and practical experiences.
A. Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd (Baurs), in collaboration with its contracted institutions, namely the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the School of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences ( HAFL), suggested in their conclusions of their study visit necessary steps for the country to successfully transition from a conventional production system to an organic production system in a short period of time.
The report pointed out that converting to an agricultural system without using synthetic fertilizers cannot work by simply replacing mineral fertilizers with organic fertilizers, citing the fact that there must be sufficient organic fertilizers, including the The importance of reactivating soils biologically as the current soil-plant system, accustomed to mineral fertilizers, is not suitable for digesting and using them. In addition, he also mentioned that larger quantities of raw materials have to be transported and spread in the fields.
He stressed that ecological conversion to biological conversion requires a global change of concept, which will take several years, including capacity development efforts. However, given the immediate ban in the country, he recommended that farmers be offered soil fertility management options without synthetic fertilizers for the current Maha season.
As a first step, he recommended organizing large amounts of organic fertilizers by importing such products and starting to capitalize on natural sources of nitrogen. At the same time, the potential sources of organic residues, such as waste from the food industry and markets and animal industry residues for example, must be identified and explored in order to valorize them as organic fertilizers. And that such recycling will also close the nutrient cycles, thus contributing to a positive environmental impact.
Compost is expected to play a crucial role especially in its role of activating soil biology and its contribution to stabilizing soil structure, which in turn brings many benefits, citing that quality composts can also reduce the incidence of plant diseases.
Second, he suggested undertaking a new holistic management of agricultural production that requires more time, supported by relevant skills and knowledge. Crop rotations or mixed cropping techniques, soil fertility management and selection of crop varieties suitable for organic production are important tasks on which to act, which will result in an efficient and sustainable system in the long term.
Baurs actively engages with the senior team of FiBL and HAFL experts who also coordinate their efforts with other relevant organizations, with the aim of continuously studying the ecological landscape of the country and providing the best solutions. and scientific and practical knowledge to embrace the challenge transition.