Sri Lanka’s ban on agrochemicals lowers suicide rates, earning “Policy Oscar”
Published: August 6, 2021
Category: Pesticide News
The country of Sri Lanka has received the Future Policy Special Award 2021 from Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific. The award recognized two policies that were instrumental in banning Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HPPs), chemicals responsible for thousands of suicides in the country.
Five winners of the award—the “Oscar on Best Policies”—were chosen from 55 policies nominated by 36 countries. Sri Lanka’s Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 (1980), amended several times, ensures that less hazardous chemicals are available. It has banned a total of 36 HHPs; suicides dropped by 70% especially in rural villages and among children and youth. The ban should save about 93,000 lives over 20 years at a government cost of less than $50 per life, noted the World Future Council.
Agricultural production has not gone down with the ban.
“The reality is that such bans save the lives of many farmers that are otherwise needlessly lost, while reaping benefits for human health, ecosystems, and agriculture and the economy,” said Dr. Meriel Watts, PANAP director of Science and Policy.
Sri Lanka has also banned import of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and weedicides declared under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act No. 1 of 1969, drawing commendation from Pesticide Action Network. “The ban is a laudable assertion of sovereignty that opens up an exciting array of possibilities, especially if the government extends full support for the transition to agroecological approaches in farming,” Dr. Watts said.
Source: Sustainable Pulse
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights August 2021