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Stop blaming organic for poor transitional management practises in Sri Lanka

“Organic land management is not to blame for the current position of Sri Lanka” Tim Marshall, Chair of NASAA Organic said today. 

NASAA Organic is Australia’s original organic industry association, providing market and industry development, advocacy, education, policy and advice services. 

“We have been hearing for months now, how the change to organic production has pushed the Sri Lankan economy to breaking point and been the cause of collapsing farming systems and the current food crisis,” said Mr Marshall, “and I think it is time to note the truth of the matter.” 

“Suddenly removing inputs from an established farming system that has been designed to rely solely on those inputs for success, is not moving to an organic management system,” Mr Marshall goes on to explain. 

“The “failed” Sri Lankan experiment is not evidence that organic is a poor choice for Western farmers, and Sri Lanka did not “go organic.” 

The sudden action by the President to mandate that the country only use fertilizers from natural sources, was poorly planned and forced by dire economic circumstances. Sri Lanka’s political crisis is the result of an ongoing poor economic position, aggravated by a recent financial crisis, that saw the total depletion of its foreign reserves and defaulting foreign debt this year. 

“For media commentators in a few paragraghs to blame “organics” for a very complicated failed political and economic crisis, is naive and incorrect,” noted Alex Mitchell, General Manager of NASAA Organic. 

“There are a number of certified organic operators in Sri Lanka who have been with clients of our subsidiary NASAA Certified Organic for decades,” said Ms Mitchell. 

“These clients are living proof that the system works when good farming land management is put into place. They are productive, socially and environmentally responsible, they provide home gardens for their workforce, who are well fed, and they provide vital export income for the country,” 

“Moving to organic production requires positive management actions, not just avoidance of synthetic fertilisers,” Mr Marshall said. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AUSTRALIA ABN 85 003 260 348 

“Australian farmers would not convert to organic, without careful planning to determine which inputs are required, where they will come from, whether whole system changes are required, such as different crops and varieties, a different emphasis on livestock or crops, or holistic grazing management, and where produce will be sold.” 

NASAA Organic has developed an enviable reputation, as a ground-breaking and innovative organic industry association, that is forward thinking and actively looks to progress the organic industry for the benefit of members and the agribusiness industry in general. 

“NASAA Organic is committed to providing sound agronomic advice for any farmers who want to reduce their reliance on imported chemical inputs, either in the form of fertilisers, or chemical controls of pest and disease.” 

“We are well placed to bring the latest knowledge and science in alternative methods of soil fertility and weed, pest and disease management,” Ms Mitchell explained. 

The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA Organic) plays a critically important role, in supporting and promoting the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that lead to safer, and more sustainable food production systems. 

The association was formed in 1986 to support the development and education of the organic industry and consumers about organic, biodynamic, and sustainable agricultural practices. 

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