Sept 21, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said that the government has decided to allocate 12 billion rupees for the purchase of fertilizer in the Maha season.
He said the money will be directed to the farmers’ accounts at the rate of 15,000 rupees per hectare.
The Minister Wednesday held discussions at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agricultural Research and Training Institute, with the district presidents of the Lanka National Farmers Organization representing all the 25 districts on the problems faced by the farmers at present.
The farmer organizations stated the farming problems in each district and the minister explained the measures taken by the government to solve those problems.
This year, the government will give a subsidy of 15,000 rupees for the purchase of fertilizer for one hectare of paddy cultivation, and with that amount, the farmers will be allowed to buy chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers according to their choice.
Also, the Minister clarified the current situation regarding fertilizers and mentioned that the government already has the necessary amount of Bandi fertilizer and Urea fertilizer and the basic fertilizer or Mud fertilizer is to be supplied by the private sector.
This time also, a bag of urea fertilizer will be provided by the public sector fertilizer companies for 9000 rupees and the private sector has also agreed to provide urea fertilizer to the farmers at the same price.
The farmer representatives who expressed their opinions requested a maximum price for paddy purchases and that the farmers do not need subsidies.
The Minister said that if all the farmers’ organizations take a decision and declare that there is no need for fertilizer subsidy, the money can be used to buy and give the highest price for paddy.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera further said that the government allocated an amount of 12 billion rupees as fertilizer subsidy taking into account the current financial crisis in the country, and if it is possible to provide more money, steps will be taken accordingly.