søndag 14. november 2021

Ship-load of 'toxic' Chinese fertilizer causes diplomatic stink

Why is a ship carrying cargo from China refusing to leave Sri Lankan waters despite being asked to do so by authorities? The answer is a crucial shipment gone horribly wrong, leading to a rare diplomatic tussle between two close allies, the blacklisting of a bank, and a group of farmers and scientists up in arms. The ship in question - the Hippo Spirit - departed from China in September carrying 20,000 tonnes of much-needed organic fertiliser to Colombo.

The order was placed after the Sri Lankan government suddenly stopped all chemical fertiliser imports in May to convert the country into the world's first completely organic farming nation. It's the first consignment of Colombo's plans to purchase 99,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser from Qingdao Seawin Bio-tech group, a Chinese company specialising in seaweed-based fertiliser, at a cost of $49.7m (£36m).