Since the downfall of Sri Lanka’s former president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in mid-July, some commentators have blamed the economic crisis and social unrest that precipitated his departure on his nominal experiment with organic agriculture in 2021. This is a misreading of the situation. Long-standing organic farmers have performed well throughout this period, while conventional farmers have suffered from the financial mismanagement and incompetence of the former president.
On July 13, then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country amid popular protests by citizens unhappy with his management of the nation’s economy. Sri Lanka was defaulting on its loans, energy, and food prices were surging, and limited foreign exchange reserves meant widespread shortages.