May 12, Colombo: Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed officials to take stern action against selling a bag of fertilizer for more than Rs. 1500 in the open market.
The government provides the fertilizer subsidy for the farmers in the country and has provided facilities for the farmers to purchase a bag of fertilizer for Rs. 500 at agrarian service centers and for Rs. 1500 in the open market.
Under the fertilizer subsidy program for the 2018 Yala Season 705,370 farmers will receive the subsidies while the extent of paddy fields expected to be cultivated is 1,103,861.87 acres. The government has allocated a sum of Rs. 32.5 billion for the fertilizer subsidy.
During a discussion with the Agriculture Minister, representatives of the farmers had explained that some traders sell fertilizer at a higher price even though the government has recommended a price of Rs. 1500 for a fertilizer bag.
Commenting on this, the Minister said that if traders are selling above the government recommended price, the farmers should inform the Ministry of Agriculture immediately. The Ministry will then take strict action against those traders and will even cancel their licenses, the Minister said.
The Minister also instructed the officials to take into consideration the information received about the traders selling fertilizer at higher prices in the open market.
The Minister said that he hopes to implement a special program in the ministry to solve the farmers' problems in the future and stressed that the Ministry of Agriculture and its affiliate institutions should encourage the farmers to cultivate more crops.