The Land and Agricultural Reforms Movement alleges attempts by Indian plant seed companies which held a conference in Colombo to bring in plant seeds to Sri Lanka without seed quarantine approval. This will pose a grave threat of disease outbreaks to local crops and also the country’s seed production market will be in the hands of Indian companies, it warns.
Companies from the US, Netherlands, Thailand, Pakistan, Germany, Japan, Malaysia have seized local seed production rights. The Movement notes that Indian companies already bring in substandard potato and onion seeds to Sri Lanka.
They are imported by violating plant protection regulations and without permission from the Agriculture Department. Political power and the support of Dept. officials are obtained to get these seed cleared.
Importing non-quarantined seeds is an offence punishable with one to six months of imprisonment or a fine of between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 100,000 under those regulations.
The Movement notes that the parthinium plant came to Sri Lanka when the IPKF brought in goats during its stay in the country, and it has now become an invader plant.