BLUF

Sri Lanka’s abrupt and compulsory switch to organic farming resulted in a significant reduction in output.

Summary

This article by Kenny Torrella, writing for Vox, makes the following points:
  • Sri Lanka's economy has collapsed.
  •  Political corruption, covid (causing a reduction in tourism), terrorism, and unsustainable debt and inflation—all played a part in Sri Lanka's economic collapse.
  • In 2021, President Rajapaksa decided to ban synthetic fertilizer and pesticides practically overnight.
  •  This ban forced Sri Lanka's millions of farmers to go organic
  • One of the reasons for doing this was to save money by not buying synthetic fertilizers.
  • This abrupt switch proved disastrous, as Sri Lankan agriculture experts had warned.
  • Sri Lanka had been self-sufficient in rice production, but the changes meant the country had to spend $450 million on rice imports.
  • Ninety per cent of Sri Lankan families are currently having to skip meals.
  • Inflation is out of control, and Sri Lanka cannot pay its overseas debts.

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