If the promised price is changed strict action will come into operation
vVegetables purchased directly from the farmers to the Dedicated Economic Center
v50-40 rupees less per kilo than yesterday
vTransport in safe packaging which minimize post-harvest damage
vVegetables to all Dedicated Economic Centers through the Ministry of Agriculture from next week
vRetail profit is Rs.20 per kg and wholesale profit Rs.10 per kg
vPrice display is mandatory
Against the vegetable mafia, the Ministry of Agriculture launched a program, this morning, to bring vegetables purchased directly from farm-lands of the farmers to the Dedicated Economic Center at Narahenpita for their sales. Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa and other government officials visited the Dedicated Economic Center at Narahenpita, this morning, and observed the program in person.Under the new program, various types of vegetables from all parts of the country will be purchased from farmers through the Ministry of Agriculture under a dynamic mechanism and sold to the traders at Dedicated Economic Centers.The vegetables purchased should be sold for the consumers, at a retail sale having Rs.20 of profitper kg and atwholesale having Rs.10 of profit per kg.Display of price and sale at displayed price is mandatory. Consequent to the new program implemented today, a comparison was done with the prices of vegetables yesterday at the Dedicated Economic Centers Island wide and accordingly the statistics show that the government's new program has reduced the price of every kg of every item by between 40-50 rupees. Under the new program, all these vegetables are transported packing into plastic bags and thereby the damage caused around 30% during transportation gets reduced, and the benefits are passing to the consumers.
Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage in his statement here said, “Vegetable Prices have gone up recently and the President called upon us and directed to prepare a work-plan to get involved. A group of middlemen make a profit that is not received by the farmers, the consumers or the traders.By stopping it, a fair price environment can be created within the market for the vegetables. We involved in such a work-plan. Through this, we as a government protect the farmers, the consumers and the trading community that trades in these Dedicated Economic Centers. Today’s vegetable price has come down by 40-50 rupees per kg of all kinds of vegetables than the price of yesterday.The Ministry of Agriculture charges only a small amount of Rs. 5 per kg for transportation. We give all those profits to the customers. This was launched today as a pilot program. We will launch this new program in all Dedicated Economic Centers from next week. ”
Speaking to a media, State Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa said “views, suggestions and issues on the new program can be brought for and accordingly shortcomings also can be rectified. We wanted to work as a government against this mafia and reveal it. We bring these vegetables in packages. We have been able to stop the damage caused during transportation. The resulting profit goes to the sellers as well as the consumers. Day after day, we bring Kandyan and Wanni vegetables to Colombo through the Ministry of Agriculture. We can put an end to this mafia.”
The trade community at the Dedicated Economic Center of Narahenpita expressed their thanks as well their appreciation for the new initiative being taken by the government. They also promised that they would extend their fullest cooperation to the government's program by providing all possible assistance to the consumers, doing justice to them and selling more vegetables at lower prices. The program is implemented through a mechanism coordinated by the District Secretaries, government officials working under them and the Farmers' Associations. Colombo District Secretary Pradeep Yasaratne, and Secretary to the State Ministry of Promotion of Paddy and Cereals, Organic Food, Vegetables, Fruits, Chilies, Onions and Potatoes, Seed Production and High Tech Agriculture Anil Wijesinghe, and other government officials and the business community at the Dedicated Economic Center of Narahenpita also were present at this inauguration ceremony.