Issue assessment reports on maize cultivation, dairy farming land without delaying

The Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday (15) instructed the Central Environmental Authority to immediately end the delay in issuing the required environmental assessment reports on the use of land for maize cultivation and dairy farming in our country.

A discussion between Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera and Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage was held at the Ministry of Environment yesterday (15) afternoon as per a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to provide lands for dairy farming and maize cultivation.

The Minister of Agriculture pointed out that due to delays in environmental assessment reports for dairy farming and maize cultivation, foreign investors coming for certain projects are leaving.

There are 63 institutions registered under the Central Environmental Authority for the preparation of environmental assessment reports. One company has demanded an unreasonable sum of Rs. 300 million to prepare an environmental assessment report in the process of allocating land for dairy farming in Nawalapitiya.

Also, due to the conflict between two institutions in allocating lands for dairy farming in the North Western Province, those activities are being delayed continuously. Therefore, the Minister of Agriculture stated that these issues should be resolved and the submission of environmental reports should be expedited.

The Minister of Environment stated that it is not necessary to prepare an environmental report as most of the land in a dairy farm is used for grass cultivation.

The annual maize requirement of our country is 4,50,000 m.ts. But the harvest of our country is 2,80,000- 300,000 m.ts. Every year the corn About 100,000 m.t.s are imported. Therefore, priority should be given to projects implemented to increase maize production in our country, the Minister of Environment said.

Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment and a group of officials were present at this occasion.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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