Chemical Leasing Intervention for Food Safety (CLIFS)

About Solution

Agrochemical overuse is one of the principal causes for contamination of fresh produce (fruit & vegetables etc.) sold in urban markets in Sri Lanka. Urban consumers purchase and consume fresh produce with anticipated associated health benefits. However, these contain residuals of excessively applied agrochemicals. Exported fresh commodities are often being deported recently, due to the presence of agrochemical residuals beyond the country-specific standards. Which implicates the presence of agrochemical residuals in the fresh produce sold domestically is monitored inadequately whereby endangering millions of consumers. Inefficient use of agrochemicals, inadequate knowledge of handling and improper regulations are identified as principal causes for the accumulation of chemical residuals in fresh produce. Nevertheless, complete elimination of agrochemical usage in Sri Lanka cannot see as a sustainable solution. In the traditional agrochemical business model, suppliers of agrochemicals increase sales enhancing their profits while users want to reduce their chemical usage to minimize costs. These two motivations can be bundled together and aligned through a cleaner production and process optimization approach, known as ‘chemical leasing’ which promotes sustainable consumption, production and management of chemicals. IPS identified the absence of an intermediary to mediate chemical leasing which stunted the upscaling efforts and thereby developed the innovative business model to address the gaps in the supply and demand sides. IPS partnering with the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) will implement the developed model whereas the chemical leasing approach has been pilot-tested among upcountry vegetable producers by the (NCPC) for Carrot, Potato and Paddy. Results revealed that costs for agrochemicals along with the quantity applied declined by 40% in Potato, 55% in Paddy and 31% in Carrot. In the chemical leasing business model, the supplier provides the service of sustainable chemical application at different stages of crop growth instead of operating with the intention of increasing the volume of chemical sold to the user. The user, on the other hand, purchases the service of the chemical application instead of the chemical alone. However, adequate linkage and good communication between the supplier and the user is highly essential in this endeavour. Our technology-driven sustainable solution will address the communication gap and it further aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: goal number 2 and 3. Ultimately, benefits associated with this innovative business model of agrochemical application will minimize the excessive application of agrochemicals by users thereby minimizing the accumulation of chemical residuals in fresh produce.



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