May 22, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says that the intelligence agencies have confirmed that there is a conspiracy to keep the farmers away from the fields.
The minister made this disclosure while addressing an event held today to issue vouchers for the fertilizer subsidy to farmers cultivating paddy in the Yala season.
Issuing the vouchers for about 650,000 farmers who cultivate paddy in the Yala season to purchase chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers required for paddy cultivation commenced today under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera.
Government will provide a voucher of 20,000 rupees per hectare and 40,000 rupees for two hectares per farmer to buy chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers for rice cultivation in the Yala season. The government has allocated 10 billion rupees for this fertilizer subsidy.
Speaking at the event, Minister Amaraweera expressed his gratitude to the President for providing the financial allocation to purchase the chemical or organic fertilizers needed by the farmers who grow paddy in the Yala season.
Accordingly, arrangements have been made to provide a subsidy of 20,000 rupees per hectare and 40,000 rupees for two hectares. These vouchers are given for paddy cultivation this year and are issued by the Department of Agricultural Development. With these vouchers, farmers can buy only chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers.
Also, if farmers prefer, they can purchase chemical or organic fertilizers supplied by the two government fertilizer companies from Agrarian Service Centers, as well as from the private sector.
“Some farmers in our country have obtained high yields by applying chemical fertilizers as well as organic fertilizers. Experiments have now confirmed that the main reason for the decrease in the yield of some farmers is not applying Bandi fertilizer. I request all the farmers to give priority to buy Bandi fertilizer using these vouchers.”
The Minister said although the urea fertilizer has increased a little in the market, the government still provides a bag of urea fertilizer for 10,000 rupees.
He added that another Urea Fertilizer ship will arrive at the end of this month and after its arrival of that ship price of urea fertilizer may be reduced further. However, he requested the farmers who currently need urea fertilizer to apply the fertilizer instead of waiting for the price to decrease.
Speaking further, the Minister said the intelligence agencies have confirmed that there is a conspiracy to keep the farmers away from the fields.
“A certain political party made a big effort to keep farmers away from the paddy fields in the last season as well. But they could not do it. So I say they are still plotting. If our farmers get caught in their conspiracies, the whole country will have to starve. Therefore, I request all farmers to cultivate without fear,” the Minister also mentioned.
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