Give turmeric, maize farmers a fair price - President instructs officials

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the Minister of State and officials in charge of the subject to intervene to stop irregularities in the purchase of turmeric, maize and other crops from farmers.

He has also directed the Commissioner of Excise to issue a gazette notification banning the use of maize for the production of alcohol and ethanol.

Local farmers have successfully expanded the cultivation of turmeric and maize and the Maha season harvest is nearing.

President Rajapaksa emphasized that farmers should get a fair price.

The President pointed out that the Government should fully intervene to stop the irregularities that take place such as stockpiling by traders, the President’s Media Division in a communiqué said.

The President also emphasized the need for a programme to collect high quality seeds for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

He ordered the destruction of stocks of turmeric illegally imported by errant businessmen.

The Director General of Customs and the Inspector General of Police have been instructed to strictly enforce the law against businessmen engaged in irregularities.
President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to ensure a wider market for turmeric, maize as well as cowpea, undu, and green gram.

Banks were instructed to identify businesses and maintain inventory information commensurate with the loan amount.

President Rajapaksa has also said that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka should focus its oversight functions on development financing.

All District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, Commissioners of Agrarian Services and all field level officials should purchase agricultural produce and strengthen the farming community. The President also instructed officials to be vigilant to prevent damage caused to crops by pests such as the fall army (Sena) worm.

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