Stores of Companies are field with fertilizer.
Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and the State Minister Shashendra Rajapaksa unexpectedly visited the main store complexes of private fertilizer companies located in Peliyagoda and Kelaniya and observed the situation there. Although fertilizer shortage is experienced in certain areas of the country, private fertilizer companies are retaining fertilizer stock in their stores. Both Minister questioned the authorities the reason for not having taken action to issue fertilizer even at a minimum level.
If they are not issuing fertilizer on due dates, action has to be taken to distribute the same though State Fertilizer Companies. The Agriculture Minister repeatedly questioned the officers as to why certain private companies are issuing a low quantity of 300 MT or less amount when the capacity is there to issue 600 MT of fertilizer per day. At a discussion held at the Ministry of Agriculture, private fertilizer companies agreed to issue 1000 MT of fertilizer per day, that promise has not been fulfilled yet. When farmers are experiencing fertilizer shortage throughout the country, it is unfair to retain subsidized fertilizer in stores. The Minister informed the Authorities to take prompt action to issue the agreed quantity of fertilizer within 03 days. If not, the Ministers warn them that action would be taken to entrust the responsibility of distribution of fertilizer only to state fertilizer companies. This has been brought to the notice of officials of the National Fertilizer Secretariat and the Department of Agrarian Development. State Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa too questioned the reason for delay in the distribution of stored fertilizer. Company authorities’ response is that delay has been caused due to shortage of laborers and transport difficulties. The Ministers explained to them that Government could address those issues and stern action would be taken if the distribution of fertilizer got delayed further.