National Programme of paddy purchasing commenced from Akkaraipattu.
The National Programme of purchasing 0.3 Million Metric tons of Maha season paddy by the Government through Paddy Marketing Board Commenced ceremonialy at PMB store complex AT Akkaraipattu in Ampara with the participation of Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and State Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa.
This season guaranted price for dried paddy is Rs.52.00 per 1 Kg of Samba and Rs.50.00 per 1Kg of Nadu. Another feature of the programme is that all farmers receiving benefits of subsidized fertilizer scheme should have to sell 1000 Kg of paddy per hectare to the Paddy Marketing Board. Paddy purchasing is an exercise jointly implemented by 9 state institute ons including the Department of Agrarian Development and the Paddy Marketing Board. When the harvesting is in progress throughart the island by the next month, an islandwide arrangement will be in operation to cover the entire island. The national programme of paddy purchasing will be implemented by “Kupanisa” officers under direct supervision of Assistant Commissioners of the Department of Agrarian Development and Regional Managers of the Paddy Marketing Board. Necessary arrangements have been made to buy moisture paddy too for which packing bag will be supplied by the Government. At this inaugural paddy purchasing ceremony, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage expressing his views stated “ We were advised not to go Akkaraipattu due to covid pandemic. Anyway we decided to participate in it as it is our duty to motivate farmers and pay tribute to those who feed the nation. Therefore, we request our farmer community to make their contribution in every possible way towards this national undertaking. We have taken steps to buy not only dried paddy but paddy with moisture too. Under previous Government, farmers were unable to sell their paddy harvest even at Rs.32 per 1 Kg. But we have offered you a guaranteed price of Rs.52.00 per 1 Kg of Samba and Rs.50 per 1 Kg of Nadu. Our aim is to respond to the rice mafia by maintaining a sufficient buffer stock. We in the Government are responsible to protect both the consumer and the farmer. We are to fulfill that responsibility. When the farmer stands with us it would be our bounden duty to help them in need; solve their problem and address their grievances. Therefore we couldn’t allow a few higly profiting “Mudalalies” to control the price of rice. Therefore I am of the view that the farmer are supporting us not only to buy 3.0 Million Metric Tons of paddy but even exceeding that amount. Our Government is ready to feed the nation amidst any challenge. That is why we are maintaining such a huge buffer stack from this season on wards. We have fulfilled our duty by farmers giving every possible support; giving fertilizer; giving water; giving seeds and buying their harvest at reasonable guarautead price. Hence we request every farmers to determine to fulfill your duty taking hands with us on behalf of the nation.
Expressing his view state Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa said that this year’s paddy. Purchasing programme is implemented joinly by over 09 state institutions. It was after two month discussion that we formulated this national programme. We are not only to buy paddy. Our planning goes beyond that. We have planned to mill the paddy and sell at reasouable prices through the C.W.E. and co-operative network islandwide. We are fulfilling the duty as a Government. Paddy purchasing, streamlining of subdized fertilizer scheme and selling milled rice at reasonable price are also included in this national programme. It is the farmer who feed the nation. Therefore it is our bounder duty to protect both the farmer and the consumer.
The total extent of Maha season cultivation is Six Hundred and Sixly eight thousand and four hundred hactares and the anticipated harvest is 2.8 Million Metric Tons of which 0.3 Million Metric Tons are the target purchasing by the Government. Renovation of all paddy stores are now nearing completion with the assiatance of the army. The paddy purchasing programme is being implemented island wide with out causing any injustices to the farmer community. Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, District Secretary, Ampara and Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board also participated at this inaugural ceremony.