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* Farmers association accuses Sri Lankan government of failing the farmers
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 11:06 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 26, Colombo: A farmers association in Sri Lanka has accused the government of failing the farmers once again.

National Organizer of the All Ceylon Farmers' Federation, Namal Karunaratne said the government has failed to stand by the farmers and address their grievances.

He explained that paddy purchasing for the Maha season is currently taking place and the farmers have not received a fair price for their produce yet again.

He observed that despite media statements that a kilo of paddy is purchased at Rs. 32, farmers received only Rs. 23 for a kilo in reality.

The government earlier this month increased the registered purchasing price of unprocessed rice of Naadu paddy to Rs. 32 per kilo and a kilo of Samba variety to Rs. 35 per kilo.

"The government only cares about several large scale mill owners who are affiliated to the government," Karunaratne complained.

He further noted that the government during the last Maha season allocated only Rs. 10 billion to purchase paddy, which was sufficient only to purchase one tenth of the paddy harvest in the country.

In the 2011/2012 Maha season Sri Lanka paddy harvest amounted to 2,716,961 metric tons.

Karunaratne added that the government has also failed to develop the paddy purchasing centers in order to increase their purchasing capacities.

According to Karunaratne, the government has to take steps to legalize a certified price for paddy.

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