India hands over first Urea fertilizer shipment to Sri Lanka

The fertilizer shipment with 44,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, which is the first part of the 65,000 metric tonnes of urea fertilizer, arrived in Colombo on Saturday.

The official delivery of the fertilizer stock to Sri Lanka took place at the Indian High Commissioner’s  official residence (India House) in Colombo. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Bhagle handed over the documents related to the stock of urea fertilizer to Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday. Additional Secretary Mahesh Gammanpila and the Chairman of the two government-owned fertilizer companies also participated in the event. The minister expressed his gratitude to the Indian government for its decision to provide urea fertilizer at a time when Sri Lanka’s agriculture was facing a crisis.

During my short tenure as the Agriculture Minister, I took steps to solve many problems faced by the farmers. At the same time, it will be possible to provide urea fertilizer to the farmers, especially in the Yala Season. By now, the cultivated paddy fields in our country have increased to five hundred and five thousand hectares. Negotiations with the World Bank have been successful so far to provide the urea fertilizer needed for the season.

“Farmers had about Rs.30,000 million unpaid loans to the four government banks for many years. Steps were taken to cut them all. By this, around one million farmers will be freed from debt,” he said. Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bhagle said the fertilizer load is provided under an Indian credit line programme.”We as the Government of India always support our neighboring friend Sri Lanka. The minister also mentioned that it is our hope to continue that cooperation,” he said.

Fertilizer unloading is currently taking place at Colombo Port and it is scheduled to be completed within ten days. The commercial fertilizer company will distribute the fertilizer stock to 566 Agrarian Service Centres using 800 trucks. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has provided 125,000 liters of fuel for that.


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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