Govt allocates Rs. 16 Bn to buy organic fertilizer for Maha Season

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated that the Government has allocated Rs. 16,000 million (or Rs. 16 billion) for the purchase of organic fertilizer in the 2022/23 Maha Season.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his full support for the proposal the Minister presented at the Cabinet meeting for the purchase of organic fertilizers, even though there is an economic crisis in the country.

The Minister also mentioned that the Government has worked to provide all possible relief to the farmers in order to make this Maha season a success.

Minister Amaraweera said that he recently held a discussion with union representatives regarding the problems of agricultural research and production assistants. This discussion was held in the auditorium of the Department of Agrarian Development and the Commissioner General of Agrarian Services Department H.M.L. Abeyratne and others participated.

For the distribution of organic fertilizers in the 2022/23 Maha season, a district committee was formed to cover all the districts of the island. This committee, headed by the district secretary, was also entrusted with the responsibility of the representatives of the farmers’ organizations of the respective district.

Accordingly, farmers can buy an organic fertilizer of their choice. Measures were taken to provide Rs. 20,000 for one hectare of paddy cultivation and Rs. 40,000 rupees for two hectares. .

The Minister mentioned that there is a problem regarding whether the district committee has performed its responsibility properly as there are reports of some irregularities in some committees, and the Agriculture Ministry is conducting a comprehensive investigation in this regard.

If substandard organic fertilizers have been provided to the farmers, this committee consisting of representatives of farmer organizations will also be responsible.

The Minister also mentioned that several companies who worked to supply substandard organic fertilizers have been blacklisted.

Agricultural research and production assistants who expressed their views on this said that they have evidence that some organic fertilizer companies had bribed the representatives of the district committee to buy organic fertilizers from their companies.

If such information is available to the Ministry, the Minister said that in the 2023 Yala season, in addition to paddy cultivation, priority will be given to the cultivation of additional crops, and steps will be taken to provide all the chemical fertilizers required for paddy cultivation without shortage.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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