May 27, Colombo: The government has received the cabinet approval to introduce a fertilizer subsidy scheme for paddy farmers using organic farming methods. The subsidy will be granted from the Yala season of this year.
Under the earlier method of granting fertilizer subsidy to the farmers in the form of cash, which was being implemented from the 2016 Yala Season onwards, the rice farmers had the option of using the cash subsidy to buy chemical fertilizer or organic fertilizer for their cultivation.
However, due to the unpopularity of the program, the government decided to provide subsidized fertilizer to the farmers again instead of providing cash for purchasing the fertilizers. Accordingly, the paddy farmers will be granted chemical fertilizer again to the farmers on a subsidized price from 2018 Yala Season onwards.
It has been observed that this program, which is now being implemented, had not provided any relief to the farmers who cultivate using organic fertilizer.
As such, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera, considering the importance of encouraging organic cultivation, has made a proposal to identify the farmers who are engaged in the organic farming in each season and the actual extents of land to be cultivated at the Grama Niladhari Division level and credit the relevant financial subsidy in their bank accounts and make the necessary adjustments in each season based on the variations in the price of chemical fertilizer.
The cabinet of Ministers has approved the Minister Amaraweera's proposal.