By Paul Homewood
h/t Joe Public
Yet more grossly dishonest reporting by the BBC:
Leaves from the lush green tea estates covering the hills of central Sri Lanka end up in cups across the world.
Tea is the island’s biggest export, normally bringing in more than $1bn a year, but the industry is being hard hit by the unprecedented economic crisis.
Most of Sri Lanka’s tea is grown by smaller farmers, like Rohan Tilak Gurusinghe, who owns two acres of land close to the village of Kadugunnawa.
But he’s still reeling from the impact of a sudden, poorly thought-out government decision to ban chemical fertiliser last year.
“I’m losing money,” he tells the BBC despondently. “Without fertiliser or fuel, I can’t even think about the future of my business.”
The ban, ordered to try to protect the country’s dwindling foreign reserves, was one of a number of disastrous policy decisions implemented by the now-ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, with agricultural output falling significantly.
It was later reversed, but fertiliser has shot up in price and is still difficult to source, while the government is now unable to afford to import adequate supplies of petrol and diesel.
For farmers like Mr Gurusinghe, reliant on trucks transporting tea leaves from his fields to factories for processing, it means delays which can lead to the leaves drying out and reducing in quality.
“Our leaders are not bothered about providing us with the basic necessities,” he tells the BBC.
The ban had nothing at all to “protecting foreign reserves”. Nor is tea industry being hit by the “.economic crisis”
The ban was a deliberate policy decision by the President, as part of his climate change agenda. This was what he had to say at COP26:
Nitrogen is an abundant element that is essential to the sustenance of all living things.
However, reactive nitrogen generated by human activity and released into ecosystems worsens climate change.
Overuse of nitrogen, especially in fertilisers, has adverse impacts on soil, water, air, and human health.
For decades, chronic kidney disease has been a serious issue in Sri Lanka’s agricultural heartland.
The overuse of chemical fertilisers has contributed significantly to this problem.
It is in this context that my Government took firm steps to reduce imports of chemical fertilizer, and strongly encourage organic agriculture.
The inevitable collapse of tea production, and thus exports, subsequently led to the collapse of Sri Lanka’s currency and the bankrupting of its economy.
The BBC must share responsibility for this disaster because of its continual one-sided misreporting of climate change.