Sri Lanka Food Shortages Due to Fertilizer Ban, (Not Putin)


By Paul Homewood

h/t Joe Public

BBC Newsnight ran a piece a week ago on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, which is effectively bankrupt. (13.30 minutes in).

While record energy prices and the pandemic have crippled the economy, the BBC makes a big play of rising food prices. Staple foods have quadrupled in price, and even carrots are regarded as a luxury.

All of this is put at Putin’s door. However, the BBC have failed to mention probably the key factor in food shortages, the government’s ban in April last year on imports of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, in order to encourage organic farming.

The BBC itself reported on this last September, long before the war in Ukraine had any impact:

A farm survey last revealed that farmers expected a fall in harvests of 47% as a result of the ban:

Such a drop in output will obviously lead to massive shortages of food, and rocketing inflation. On top of that, much of the affected output goes for export, such as tea and rubber. This, of course, has damaged Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves, which is root cause of the fuel shortages mentioned in the video.

In the BBC’s vision of the future, oil will be much dearer and in much shorter supply than now, and chemical fertilisers a thing of the past.

Funny Newsnight did not bother to mention that!


The UN published this brief in March, which backs up the earlier reports:,while%20favourable%20weather%20conditions%20led%20to%20bumper%20yields.

Notice how prices suddenly shot up last September, long before the war in Ukraine.

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June 24, 2022 2:21 pm

No. Sri Lanka’s woes are 100% based in the fact THEIR government is A. Corrupt and 2. Socialist. When you refuse to hang socialists all you get is misery, starvation, child molestation, rape and death. Period. Full stop.

Reply to  2hotel9
June 24, 2022 3:48 pm

THEIR government is A. Corrupt and 2. Socialist.

Tautology alert!

Bryan A
Reply to  Mr.
June 24, 2022 7:19 pm

Those rice And wheat price Increased…definite hockey sticks

Rud Istvan
June 24, 2022 2:25 pm

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Very Bidenesque.

Tom Halla
June 24, 2022 2:27 pm

They were following the advice of Vedanta Shiva, who seems to want to surpass Lysenko as worst agronomist ever. She is an organic farming guru.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 24, 2022 3:37 pm

Vandana Shiva

The reason I am glad about the approach of the Sri Lankan government is because it connects three things, namely stopping dependency on imports, non-sustainability and the ruination of the ecosystems and of health. The minute we connect sustainability and health, organic becomes the only way we can move forward.

Three successes for organic farming!

Reply to  Lark
June 24, 2022 5:53 pm

Think of it as an agri-CULTURAL revolution.

Reply to  Keith
June 27, 2022 4:22 am

Think of it as an agri-CULTURAL revolution.”

I think that should be phrased as “Think of it as an agri-CULTURAL” deevolution and destitution.

Reply to  Lark
June 24, 2022 10:12 pm

“Three successes for organic farming!”

What’s number 4 – population control via starvation?

Reply to  Allan MacRae
June 25, 2022 2:41 am

I wonder if Attenborough is involved in this. According to the Population Matters/ The Optimum Trust:

Screenshot 2022-06-25 104032.jpg
Reply to  Redge
June 25, 2022 5:53 am

Hi Redge,

Some suggest that the Climate-and-Covid scams are intended for population control. Let’s see if this hypothesis is credible:

1. It is obvious that the CAGW (Global Warming aka Climate) and Covid scams are both based on blatant scientific fraud .
For ample evidence see and

2. The primary outcome of the CAGW scam has been to disrupt our modern energy systems, essential for our survival – to keep us warm and to keep us fed (see “Heat or Eat”, especially in the UK and Germany);
3. The primary outcome of the Covid-19 scam was to disrupt our entire economy – particularly our health systems, food production, small business and supply chains. Supply chains, particularly truckers, are still under attack in North America. The toxic Covid-19 “vaccines” will kill and injure many more people than the virus.
4. There was no scientific or technical validity to either scam; they were pure false propaganda:
– The CAGW scam was based on climate models that were scientific nonsense.
– The Covid scam involved needless lockdowns and toxic “vaccines” that both did enormous harm.
– Both scams were promoted globally by the same people, using the same deceitful propaganda tactics.
– The same highly improbable and inappropriate strategies were implemented in most countries.
– Prominent global elitists linked the two scams, saying “To solve Covid we have to solve Climate” – illogical nonsense.
– Runaway inflation of energy, food, lodging, etc. is the direct result.

5. The hypothesis is supported by the evidence.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
June 25, 2022 8:29 am

Organic farming relies on Number 2

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 24, 2022 6:41 pm

Maybe she thinks she’s like her namesake Hindu god, Shiva the Destroyer. Yeah, in a way … all the evil aspects and none of the good. Hubris infects Marxists.

One of the big teachings of Greek mythology is about hubris. Does the Hindu religion have anything like that?

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 25, 2022 6:08 am

While expecting to get negative votes here…
When US embargoed and tried to starve Cuba, blocking fertilizer deliveries, Cuba did extremely well with organic farming.

Of course , chemical giants don’t like that.

Reply to  Alex
June 25, 2022 9:30 pm

I call BS.

Can Cuba feed itself? NO.

June 24, 2022 3:01 pm

Once again government trashing it’s own people, administrators and bureaucrats suck. Green devils are worse.

June 24, 2022 3:48 pm

Hmmm, and what major country was it that went through a significant fertilizer shortage just prior to the 2022 planting season?…

June 24, 2022 3:56 pm

AOC reckons if a shortage of fertilizer is causing lower crop yields, why don’t farmers just plant a whole lot more seeds.

Or let the crops grow for longer periods, so they will get bigger before they’re harvested.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Mr.
June 24, 2022 4:25 pm

Yes, she’s a genius

It’s a foreshadowing of her advice to fix the shortcomings of the GND

“We just have to try harder”!!

Yes, that’s the ticket

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Mr.
June 24, 2022 4:29 pm


Reply to  Mr.
June 24, 2022 6:03 pm

The idiot who will be king in UK is a fan and wordy bore on organic farming. On his estate the peons weed wheat y hand. 4 of them lie abrest on a flatbed trailer which is towed slowly across the field as the peasants pull up the reeds. As head of the Commonwealth he should be delighted with Sri Lankas organic success

Reply to  Alastair gray
June 25, 2022 2:48 am

I’m a supporter of QEII, but the thought of Charlie becoming King makes me think about becoming a republican, and I’m not so sure about William.

And then I think how crap would it be to have a president who would invariably be left-wing

Reply to  Redge
June 25, 2022 4:54 am

The immediate problem in the UK is that your right wing (Tories) has become become left wing: raising taxes, stopping carbon based economy, pushing windmills, etc.

BoJo-ism started out with such great promise. What the bloody hell happened to that mophead?!

Reply to  kwinterkorn
June 25, 2022 5:13 am

I disagree

BoJo was a poor choice by the Tories. From the moment he became prominent in politics to becoming PM, BoJo has demonstrated his only ability is flip-flopping his opinion based on what he thinks voters want to hear

He’s dreadful and always has been.

Reply to  Redge
June 25, 2022 2:31 pm

Two words to make an anti-monarchist stop and think – President Blair.

Reply to  Stephen
June 25, 2022 11:33 pm

These words also scare the bejesus out of me when following “President”:

Johnson, May, Cameron, Starmer, Corbyn, Brown, Rees-Mogg, …

Come to think of it, I can only think of one prime minister in the last 50 years I would be comfortable being the UK President

Personally, I wouldn’t mind Charlie stepping aside in favour of Princess Anne. She worked hard all her life on behalf of the UK.

Long may Queen Elizabeth reign, although sadly I don’t think it will be long before she hands over to Chuck.

Reply to  Mr.
June 25, 2022 5:42 am

What the point of planting more seed on infertile land?
Then leaving impoverished plants to grow longer with yield lower?

June 24, 2022 6:18 pm

I am acquainted with a farmer who has been successful at permaculture farming. Some things to note:

1 – It took him ten years for the system to become established.
2 – He grows tea on a mountain.
3 – His yields will always be below those who farm on flat land.
4 – Because he’s on a mountain, he gets a premium for his crop based on perceived quality.

Monocropping is bad news. It occurs to me that crop rotation has some of the features of permaculture while preserving high yields.

If you wanted to switch to organic farming / permaculture you’d set up experimental farms, demonstrate that it works better than the alternative and educate the farmers. They’d see the benefits, know what to do, and succeed.

When you try to impose a complicated system on society, things break badly. The example that comes to mind was Yeltsin’s attempt to introduce capitalism to Russia by shock therapy. It was a dismal failure and is probably the reason the Russians wanted a strong man dictator like our old buddy Vlad (The Impaler) Putin.

People who want to impose sweeping changes on society overnight, are a contagion and should be treated as such.

Reply to  commieBob
June 25, 2022 2:25 am

biodynamics seem to work rather well, for those with the inclination to follow the instructions and be patient

June 24, 2022 6:39 pm

The ideologue’s always get rid of the thing(s) they need most, before they have succeeded in achieving their ideal. It doesn’t matter if it’s politics, the economy, science, or agriculture. They have proven capable of turning off the successful system before any test of their ideal has proven a workable solution to salve their angst of the day.

June 24, 2022 6:48 pm

No doubt the ban diminished food production. Still, it should be mentioned that it was introduced in April and rescinded last November.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 24, 2022 10:36 pm

Yep, governments often legislate stupidity based on the opinions of their most vociferous constituents. But wait to rescind their foolishness until the starvation commences

Reply to  Bryan A
June 25, 2022 6:33 am

This ^

Lauren R Anderson
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 25, 2022 12:13 am

Unfortunately they didn’t rescind their lousy leftist government. Banning fertilizer was among the latest in a long series of bad policies. Odd how leftists continue to think capitalism—in other words, economic freedom—is cruel and unfair despite centuries of proof that there is no better economic system for widespread, rapid improvement of living standards and wealth for every socioeconomic class.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 25, 2022 12:41 am

Thanks for reporting the rest of the story. Now for the whole rest of the story:

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said only the private sector would be allowed to resume imports, which would be expensive as a subsidy for chemical fertilisers would not be reinstated.

The ban was rescinded due to pressure from farmers, massive protests, and skyrocketing food costs, not because they realized banning fertilizer was stupid. They didn’t restore subsidies for fertilizer, though, which exacerbates their food shortages and economic problems. Stupid is as stupid does.

R Taylor
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 25, 2022 5:48 am

An edict from a social tyrant is much better at destruction than production.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 25, 2022 6:48 pm

what the heck is your point???

June 24, 2022 7:31 pm

Perhaps they should learn how to properly tend to their soil. It’s the tilling and pesticides that cause the problems.

Reply to  JoeG
June 25, 2022 2:27 am

and weak hybrid seed that costs a lot and relies on chem inputs

Reply to  JoeG
June 25, 2022 10:34 am

Of course those farmers suddenly didn’t know how to farm 😉

Peta of Newark
June 24, 2022 7:38 pm

Even tho just yesterday I’ll never find it again but, somewhere in BBC News, they accuse Mr Putin of being ‘erratic‘ and ‘unpredictable

Mr Putin has been solid as a rock on his position regarding NATO empire building, at least since NATO overtook Georgia nigh-on 6 and 7 years ago.
He said ‘no more or else

Yet NATO persisted.
Mr Trump tried to rein in NATO because he and Putin understood & respected each other – but was blocked by even one of his own trusted advisers.

Then Biden showed up, an empty shell who can’t even be trusted to know what day-of-the-week it is.
NATO then felt free to go on a binge of empire building and Mr Putin, a man of his word, executed his word.
He made it so. He made it as he said he would – as he’d been saying he would for at least the last 6 years.

(And now Europe wants to similarly go on an expansionist binge, raking in as much of Eastern Europe as possible. Clowns. How they’ll fund that without the UK and a (rapidly becoming) bankrupt Germany will be ‘interesting’)

Then the BBC, just yesterday in their ‘Oh what a lovely war gung-ho-ism‘ and general war-mongering rhetoric declared him to be ‘erratic

As the cliche goes: “The only constant is change
….lets fix that….
The only BBC is garbage, constant with no change

But there is a reason, a similar reason to what’s powering the whole western world right now = The desire to be popular, aka: political correctness
OR, the desire to be “In With The In Crowd”

Even if, as per Joe Biden, the crowd has gone mad (taking dementia = madness)

One of these days, folks everywhere are going to wake up and realise that *everything* they thought they knew:

  • all science and agriculture
  • all healthcare and medicine
  • all food diet & nutrition
  • all politics
  • all international relations
  • even electric cars ##

….they’re gonna realise that all those things are junk and have been for decades. That everything they’ve been told, been taught, that they trusted and told their kids was utterly completely wrong. Total BS and diametrically opposite to The Real Actual Truth **

Propelled by Political Correctness, Consensus, Mendacity and Money Grubbing
(Those 4 things adding up to ‘Socialism’ of course)

## Is there any significant difference in Boris’ ban on petrol/diesel cars and the Sri Lanka ban on Nitrogen fertiliser?
= I see different sides of the same coin and too much power in the hands of too few people.

People who should never have been in the jobs they are in.

** Type 2 diabetes being a lovely example.
100 years ago they knew excatly how to reverse, fix and cure it. Now we’re told its a life-long affliction and incurable, but manageable using a wildly expensive and hideously dangerous poison (Insulin) on a multiple times daily life-long regime.
There are not the words to describe the people, claiming to be ‘doctors’ who are peddling that. There are simply not.
Likewise Climate Science.

T Gasloli
June 24, 2022 7:50 pm

You can’t, with the 21st century population, go backward to “organic farming” anymore than you can go backward to wind to meet energy needs.

Reply to  T Gasloli
June 25, 2022 6:32 am

You , essentially, would need x3 times the land.
As far as I remember… rotate crops on two, let one field rest.
Not easy with land cost and shortage, taxes etc. and you will yield less than dumping fertilizer and planting some gmo seeds.

David S
June 24, 2022 8:20 pm

“Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”

The name tells you the source of their problems.

June 24, 2022 11:13 pm

Plants don’t know the difference between chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers. Only people do. Plants will uptake either and thrive when the proper nutrient amounts and growing conditions for the specific crop are available.

Reply to  Doonman
June 25, 2022 2:31 am

soil biota and the mychorriza know the difference and they are what break down nutrients that the plants uptake. yes you can use chemicals but the longterm effects on soils are vastly different

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 27, 2022 4:46 am

That is belief, not fact.

Just like climatologists, cited alleged ‘experiments’ are just as dodgy as alamist produced research.

Reply to  Doonman
June 25, 2022 6:42 am

There are so many loopholes in the way “Organic” food is regulated that you really do not know if something is “Organically grown” unless you personally know the farmer who grew it.

Reply to  yirgach
June 27, 2022 4:54 am

When an organic farmer is selling under sized fruits damaged by insects, alleged organic imports from corrupt countries are large and undamaged, you know their versions of “organic” farming are not held to urbanite organic beliefs.

“Organic” farming was introduced by USDA as a marketing term to allow small farmers to be able to charge more for lower quality foods. Ostensibly, USDA was helping small farms to feed a niche market based upon belief, not reality.

peter schell
June 24, 2022 11:27 pm

I keep remembering all the millions who starved to death in communist countries as people with ideology by no knowledge forced practices on the farmers and other productive people that simply did not work.

Is history going to remember the next decade in the same way?

June 25, 2022 12:41 am

The fertilizer ban wasn’t some green initiative: it has to be imported and Sri Lanka just didn’t have the foreign currency reserves.

Old Cocky
Reply to  griff
June 25, 2022 3:46 am

and then it became a positive feedback loop.

Joe Public
Reply to  griff
June 25, 2022 4:34 am

So why the need to *ban* fertilisers?

Reply to  griff
June 25, 2022 4:11 pm

They had a budget surplus when using fertilizer and growing bumper crops. They made big bucks exporting tea and rice AFTER feeding all their people. That’s why the government was subsidizing the cost of fertilizer and had the money to do it. Most of the population was upper middle class with virtually no poverty. Now most are in poverty with virtually no middle class. Why do you listen to the voices in your head when they are almost always wrong?

Reply to  griff
June 25, 2022 6:56 pm


1) They banned private import as well as cancelling govt programs.

2) They reinstated ability for private import.

3) Private import has nothing to do with foreign currency reserves.

4) You are either:

4a) An Idiot (with a capital i)

4b) A liar

4c) Both an Idiot and a liar.

Ed Zuiderwijk
June 25, 2022 12:47 am

Politicians better pay attention. When the people are really up against the wall they will come after you and burn your houses, because they know who imposed the idiotic policies.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
June 25, 2022 6:59 pm

It needs to happen somewhere to start the ball rolling. It will happen … a true peoples revolt.

And AOC & Bernie will sit on their hands and ignore it, because they really do not support the people.

June 25, 2022 5:21 am

I read quite a few articles on this subject in the past week.
This one was the best.
The others were a waste of my time.

paul courtney
June 25, 2022 8:11 am

The Brandon admin. will tell you that Putin is so devious, he managed this. And if you are in the progressive press, you believe it and report it!

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