The first stage of granting compensation to farmers affected due to Fall Army warm menace was commenced from Ampara District and granting of compensation to farmers in Anuradhapura was held today (15) at the District secretariat Auditorium, Anuradhapura chaired by P.Harrison ,Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development.
Addressing the gathering the Minister said that “we commenced paying compensation in Ampara District totaling Rs.160 mn. Some more districts are yet to cover including Monaragala and Kurunegala as well as certain districts in the Northern Province. The Agriculture Insurance Board was not legally bound to pay compensation to Fall Army worm damage. As far as the payment of Compensation is concerned, its responsibility has been limited only to 7crops including paddy and maize covering damages caused by natural disasters only. For example damages from flood and droughts .However I remember that media had given wide publicity to Fall Army warm damage .Some proposed the burning out the total maize cultivation. Some warm that even paddy cultivation was at risk .Some JVC comrades said that the Fall Armyworm has even crept into the Sinharaja forest. If so the sinharaja, too has to be destroyed.
Some politicians were trying themselves to be swelled up under the guise of the Fall Army warm .I saw in Parliament some talk nonsense unable to identify difference between this warm and moth. Our sage Wimal Weerawansa the other day raising Parliamentary question asked me how Fall Armyworm fly from India. Warm cannot fly. He didn’t know that. What they were trying was to put government into trouble under the guise of the warm. However the media reported actual position whereby contributing immense support to the Government for which I am much thankful to the media.
Further I am specially thankful to all District Secretaries for their utmost contribution towards our endeavor in controlling the spreading this pest within a short period.
The President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance took lead role in our effort by allocating fund for the payment of compensation. Never in the history has taken steps by any government to pay compensation to farmers so swiftly in situation like this.
According to District Director of Agriculture Fall Armyworm damage in Thabuththegama have been 139. However when examined it was revealed that the actual extent of damage has been
limited to 38 acres. If there were at least 05 officers of the calibre of him, whose blessing is for farmers in Anuradhapura other than gods. Early inquiry has to be initiated into this. Government funds cannot be distributed according to whims and fancies of few officers. Public officers are required to display fair play in all dealing with the public.
At this ceremony 132 farmers were compensated at the rote of Rs. 40,000 per 1 damaged acre. A total of Rs.54 MN. Will be paid as compensation to affected farmers in Anuradhapura.
Mr.K.D.S.Ruwanchandra , Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Board Chairman Sumith Warnakulasooriya and its Director General Panduka Weerasinghe were also attended the occasion.