Crops worth Rs.165 bn wasted annually: Minister

The transportation of fruits and vegetables had been an issue for farmers, with crops worth Rs.165 billion were wasted annually due to it, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

He was addressing a gathering at a meeting held in Agunakolapelessa on the Api Wawalai, Api Kanne project.

The minister said that one-third of the crops grown were destroyed by wild animals or natural disasters. Minister Amaraweera said that it had been decided to set a certified price for maize in order to boost the local economy, adding that a Cabinet paper for the matter would be submitted soon.

One thousand two hundred and sixty-four metric tonnes of maize was imported into the country last year and 200,000 tonnes was imported this year, the minister said.

He said that the Insurance Regulatory Commission would compensate farmers for crop wastage and added that Rs.40,000 per hectare would be paid for lands that had been destroyed.

Minister Amaraweera said that farmers and fisherfolk should be provided with the necessary assistance as they were a part of two main industries in the country.

 

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