The first shipment carrying 13,000 MT of Urea fertilizer for paddy cultivation in 2022/23 Maha season arrived at the Colombo Harbour. This stock of urea fertilizer was imported from China and unloading of such fertilizer commenced today (28).
Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera, Agriculture State Minister Mohan de Silva and the Secretary to the Ministry Rohana Pushpakumara and others were present on this occasion today (28) morning to observe such activities.
The World Bank has taken action to provide financial assistance of US $ 105 million as a loan to purchase Urea fertilizer required for this Maha season. Under the said loan, measures have been taken to provide the total Urea requirement of paddy and maize cultivation in this Maha season. Furthermore, the representatives of the World Bank extended their support to carry out the procurement process in transparent manner by frequent supervision. Hence, no malpractice occurred in purchasing Urea fertilizer.
Action has been taken to distribute this first stock of Urea fertilizer to Agrarian Services Centres in Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee districts for paddy cultivation, enabling to fulfill the entire fertilizer requirement at one time in the first, second and third fertilizer application.
Although paddy cultivation in the Maha season has not yet started all over the country, steps have already been taken to distribute the required amount of Urea fertilizer to all Agrarian Services Centres in the country for the first application of Urea fertilizer to be applied within 14 days of sowing paddy.
In the meantime, according to the second tender submitted for the purchase of Urea required for the Maha season, the second ship carrying 120,000 MT of Urea fertilizer is scheduled to reach the country during the last week of November.
The Minister expressed his views on this occasion-
On behalf of the government, I extend my gratitude to the World Bank for providing financial assistance of US $ 105 million for the purchase of Urea fertilizer. Further, the World Bank extended their support to carry out the procurement process in transparent manner by frequent supervision.
We will provide the entire fertilizer requirement of 7,500 MT to Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee districts. Also, the first stock of Urea fertilizer has already been distributed to other districts too. Moreover, all necessary measures have been taken to provide the entire fertilizer requirement of Urea and MOP to farmers by the last week of the next month.
Some people scolded us that the Urea fertilizer bags provided during the previous Yala season were not in proper weight. Therefore, I measured the weight before the media. We randomly checked each fertilizer bag and found that each contained 50 kg of Urea.
Some persons alleged to be the farmer representatives are trying to discourage farmers. We, as a government have taken measures to provide more relief to farmers in future. Even though the price of Urea has increased in the world market we will give a bag for Rs.10, 000.
Therefore, the government requests the farmers to cultivate without any hesitation during this Maha season.