Oct 11, Colombo: The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to ensure a guaranteed price for maize in order to boost the production of the cereal grain locally.
Accordingly, the Ministry will set a certified price of 43 rupees for a kilogram of maize. In addition, the government will bear 50 percent of the cost maize farmers spend for the seeds.
The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a special program to encourage the farmers to cultivate maize to a broader extent. Under the program the government will purchase the maize from the farmer at a certified price of Rs. 43 per kilo.
Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says the relevant proposal will be submitted to the Cabinet.
The Agriculture Ministry has also decided to provide the chemical fertilizer given under the government's fertilizer subsidy program to the maize farmers as well.
Also, Agrarian Insurance Board of Sri Lanka will provide crop damage insurance free for maize farmers. In the case of cultivation damage Rs. 40,000 per acre or Rs. 100,000 per hectare will be paid as claim benefits.
In 2017, Sri Lanka has imported 164,000 metric tons of maize while this year the amount has increased to 200,000 metric tons.
The objective of the government's program is to produce 100,000 more metric tons of maize harvest in the next year than the current production.