At the sample testing carried at based on the data submitted by the Dept. of Agrarian services on the distribution of chemical fertilizer in the recent past, it has been proved that 96% of its data are inaccurate. This was revealed before the Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage when he made an inspection tour of the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (HARTI) today (13).
The HARTI has informed the Minister that the survey report has been made available to the Department of Agrarian Service. The Minister speaking on the occasion stated that, according to finding of a survey conducted by Agriculture Faculty of the University of Peradeniya on the use fertilizer in Nuwara- eliya district , farmers in the district need not utilize fertilizer for their cultivation in the next two years and that survey report has not been published so far.
“Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institution is currently performing its role towards the fulfilment of expectations of the Government. However it has so far not paid attention on the preparation of survey reports on a number of important aspects at the moment. Although people in many countries in the world prefer to consume fresh milk, people of our country are still wasting time in queues to buy imported milk powders. It is the responsibility of this Institution to conduct a survey on this negative trend and submit a report to the government. Minister also questioned as to why the HARTI has not conducted a survey on the possibility producing seed requirement locally wherby saving a large sum of foreign exchange. In a situation where His Excellency the President has taken many steps to promote organic farming in Sri Lanka even by prohibiting the import of chemical fertilizer and pesticides the HARTI has failed to undertake a survey on the views and attitudes of local farmers towards organic farming. Although other paddy farming countries obtain a harvest of 10-12 Metric Tons per 01 hectare ,our country’s paddy harvest yet remain between 4 -6 Metric Tons per 01 hectare. It is unfortunate that this institution has not conducted a survey on the same and submit a report to the government. Four Mafias are in operation in the field of Agriculture. As a result numerous hardships are being experienced by consumers in our country. It is the responsibility of this institution to advice the government on an effective methodology to avoid such difficulties and the way of facing such challenge in a transparent manner” the minister stated.
The Covid Prevention Task Force at its meeting today chaired by His Excellency the President has decided to keep open all Dedicated Economic Centres from tomorrow. This decision was taken at the request of the Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Accordingly opportunity is available for agri producers to sell their produce while consumers could satisfy their needs. The Minister requested from both parties to make use of this valuable opportunity to the best interest of themselves and the country strictly adhering to health guidelines.
The Minister further stated that a distribution mechanism of those commodities at village level has also been formulated under the supervision of District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries.
Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has discussed with local parachute tray manufactures day before yesterday(03) to look into the possibility of providing parachute trays at reduced rates to farmers cultivating paddy during next Maha Season under major irrigations. At the discussion the Minister requested from Manufactures to take measures if possible to reduce the price of those products currently being sold in the market at around Rs. 47 per one.”In the event of being reduced the price, the government is ready to extend every possible assistance to them.” The Minister assured the Tray Manufactures.
Meanwhile the Minister requested the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to look into the possibility of reducing or remaining import levy on parachute trays.
As it has been decided to issue water for Maha Season paddy cultivation continuously for 30 day under major irrigation schemes weed controlling is possible through water filling. As farmers are interested in undertaking paddy cultivation with the use of parachute trays, it is expected that over 2 million parachute trays are needed.
The requirement of parachute trays is 350-400 per one acre of paddy cultivation. As buying this requirement at the prevailing market price means enormous expenditure to farmers, the Minister instructed the Commissioner General of Agrarian Development to look into the possibility of issuing them at reduced rates.
A special discussion was held at the Ministry of Agriculture today (31) among Bregadier (Mr) Nivunhella, new Commissioner General Essential Services appointed by H.E. the President Gotabhaya Rajapaksha, Chairman, Consumer Affairs Authority, Chairman and officials of the Paddy Marketing Board on hoarding of essential food items by businessman.
This meeting chaired by the Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was also attended by the State Minister of Consumer Affairs Lasantha Alagiyawanna, the Secretary and high ranking officials of that Ministry. The discussion was related to the issues such as prevailing shortage of essential food items, tactics resorted to by Racketeers to pretend that there is a shortage of essential food items in the country and as a government how to tackle that issues.
Media Secretary to the Hon. Minister
Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage pointed out that each Agrarian Services Centre should produce 100 MT of organic fertilizer and a provision of Rs. 01 million each has been allocated to every Agrarian Service Centre in the country for this purpose.
The Minister also stated that organic, nitrogen and potassium requirement for farming has already been imported for distribution among farmers free of charge. The Minister instructed officials of the Agrarian Development Department to complete the down payment of Rs. 7500/- for registered paddy farmers to enable for them to undertake organic fertilizer production of their own. Further expressing his view , the Minister stressed the necessity of producing total organic fertilizer requirement at Agrarian Services Centre level under the direction of each Agrarian Services Centre.