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* Sri Lankan farmers get pensions
Mon, Apr 5, 2010, 11:48 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 05, Colombo: Sri Lankan government has taken measures to provide a pension to the country's farmers who reach 60 years of age and become members of an insurance scheme.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka handed over the first pension to a batch of 118 farmers who have become members of the Farmers' Insurance Scheme at a ceremony organized by the Agricultural and Farmers' Insurance Board, Kalutara and held at the Horana Divisional Secretariat office on Friday (02).

At the occasion the Premier urged the farmers who do not receive a fixed income from their livelihood to join the insurance scheme as they can draw benefits when they reach 60.

Prime Minister Wickramanayaka pointed out that professionals such as doctors, engineers, and other qualified persons are highly respected in the society because of their expertise but the farmers who provide food are not so recognized by the society although they provide their expertise on agriculture.

"Therefore we must create a concept of recognizing and respecting our farmers similar to professionals such as doctors and engineers," he said.

"Then they will have pride in them for what they do and be encouraged to work hard to raise production levels by cultivating more and more," he added.

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