The All-Natural Death of Sri Lanka

Editor’s note: This piece was authored by Torben Halbe.

Experts and activists lauded Sri Lanka’s decision to switch all of its farming to organic in April 2021. Now — not even two years later — there are shortages of many essential goods, and the country is engulfed in political violence. This shows that organic farming can never be more than a luxury, and that those who lobby for more should be ignored by governments around the world so that they cannot cause any more damage. 

This July, political chaos in the South Asian country escalated. International reporting covered numerous human rights violations by the government as well as street fighting and the spectacular storming of the Presidential Palace by a huge crowd of protesters. The angry mob even set fire to the Prime Minister’s private residence. With the political future of the country still hanging in the balance, some media attention has turned to the underlying economic causes. However, amongst those, one organic elephant in the room received suspiciously little media attention.

In April 2021, the Rajapaksa government — the target of the current protests — instituted a sudden and complete ban on non-organic

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