100,000 of fallow paddy are available in this country of which asweddumization 28,000 acres commenced today in 320 Agrarian Services Centre areas inlandwide. While the its national ceremony held at ‘’Galwalagoda Well Yaya’’ in Pahuruela, Dompe in the Gampaha district chaired by the Agriculture Minister MahindanandaAluthgamage. State Minister ShashindraRajapaksa and Gampaha district MP Milan Jayathilaka including several state officials joined this occation. This national drive of fallow paddy land asweddumization continues with the state patronage as yet another move of making the country self-sufficient with food safety towards achieving production economy.
Those who are contributing to make this national undertaking a success will be given interest free loan of Rs.25,000 , technological support, machinery and equipment for asweddumization of the land through the Department of Agrarian Development and the Department of Agriculture. Fertilizer will be given free of charge in addition to free services for restoring dams, anicuts and canals. Our target is to bring those total extent of abandoned paddy land under cultivation step by step. Under phase one usweddumization of 28,000 acre, it is expected to add 35,000 MT to thethe paddy harvest of this country.
Expressing his views at this inaugural ceremony Agriculture Minister MahindanandaAluthgamage stated, ‘’ Today we are commencingasweddumizing 28,000 acres of fallow paddy lands throughout the island. Our target is to delete the word ‘’ PuranKumburu’’ from the agricultural dictionary. Today We have made arrangements to usweddumize 140 fallow paddy lands in this area remain uncultivated over 40 year. In this manner the Ministry of Agriculture expects to cultivate all abandoned paddy lands throughout the country in a practical way. We are going to make this undertaking a reality on earth not limiting it just to a talk. I am doubtful whether somebody may display a photograph of this ceremony and say the Government is clearing jungle and perhaps they might launch a protest campaign at Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo. Amidst this mudsling that we are dedicating uplift agriculture of this country. I noticed that Farmer Association representatives in Colombo challenge protesters to showwherethose so called jungle clearing areas. They vehemently condemned those so called mudsling false propaganda. This country still depends on imports. Food are imported ; seeds are imported ; fertilizer are imported. Then everythingsare imported. Our aim is to transform this depending economy within next 03 years. We are going to save heavy drain on foreign exchange which are being ultimately left to the farmer. In 1970 agricultural sector’s contribution to the national economy 34% which has been shrunk to 7% today. We are giving the same strength once again to the agriculture sector that was given in the past. Previously what the Department of Agrarian Development did was to sign letters for filling paddy land. We assure you that under our Government permission will not be given to fill even one inch of paddy lands in our country.’’
Addressing the abandoned paddy land cutivayion ceremony the state Minister ShashindraRajapaksa said,
‘’ Food imports from other countries or depending on importing food is not the policy of the President or the present Government. Ours is to uplift the farming community of this country. That is why we made the largest budgetary allocations to agriculture. Accepting that enormous responsibility, Agriculture Minister and myself along with the relevant officials undertook observation tour throughout the country and completed taking 90% of decisions related to upliftment of local agriculture. We have already commenced production. In few years time we would be able put on end to depending economy. We are ready to offer every possible support to farmers, Solve their problems. At this national ceremony I eagerly request from farmers to fulfill your duty by the Country.
MP MilonJayathilaka expressed his views,
‘’ Today agriculture is heading for a new path. The president has entrusted the responsibility to two youth leaders. You are witnessing the result of it. Usweddumization of fallow paddy lauds is a heavy blow to paddy and rice Mafia.’’