J. seeking release of weed-mixed grass seeds?
Says for experimental planting at Pattipola
By Chris Kamalendran
A consignment of grass seeds imported by a high-profile business
tycoon’s company and found to be contaminated with a harmful
weed is set to be released soon, despite recommendations from Government
Quarantine officials to re-ship the consignment back to its source
for the release had been granted by the Agriculture Development
Ministry Secretary ignoring objections from the quarantine officials
at the Colombo Port and from Director of the Seed Certification
and Plant Protection Centre of the Agriculutre Department at Peradeniya,
Dr. Kumudu Fernando.
Port authorities had ordered the re-shipment after detecting the
weed identified as Bromus mollis in the 500 kilograms shipment of
Tetila rye grass seeds and 50 kilograms of Haifa White Clover seeds
imported from Australia.
the company which acquired the once state-owned Lanka Milk Foods
(CWE) Ltd., and imported the seeds had written to the Seed Certification
and Plant Protection Centre Director requesting the release of the
shipment. Agriculture Development Ministry Secretary Tissa Warnasuriya
who has the authority to decide on such appeals had decided to release
appeal to secure the release had been personally made by Lanka Milk
Foods (CWE) Ltd, Managing Director Harry Jayawardena. The appeal
had stated that the seeds were being imported for its farms in Pattipola
Warnasuriya said his decision was on an “experimental basis”
and on the guarantee by the company that it would not allow the
harmful weeds to flower and allow regular inspection of the pastures.
imported seeds are high-quality animal feed and if I stop this because
of a few contaminated weeds, the development of the dairy industry
may suffer. So I decided to allow it on an experimental basis,”
is no record of Bromus mollis being found in Sri Lanka and available
literature shows that this particular species is invasive and resistant
to drought and temperature variations.
Botanical Gardens chief, Dr. D.H.S. Wijesundara said the import
of any type of weeds is harmful as it could spread in the country.