Paddy purchasing programme of the Government to buy 0.3 Million Metric Ton through Paddy. Marketing Board commerce from Ampara tomorrow with the participation of Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and State Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa. Objective of the new programme is to encourage both the farming community and officials of state machinery involved in paddy farming. Every farmer who receive benefits of fertilizer subsidy has to sell 1000 kg of paddy from one hectare of cultivation. This novel programme will be implemented island wide under direct supervision of Assistant Commissioners of Agrarian Development and Regional Managers of Paddy Marketing Board while measures have been taken to undertake paddy purchasing through Agriculture Research and Production Assistants. The required packing bags are to be supplied by the Government. This pogramme has been planned to maintain a buffer stock of 0.3 Million Metric Tons in order to overcome paddy and rice Mafia in the country. Maha Season paddy harvesting has already been commenced in Ampara and Monaragala districts. The inaugural purchasing will be held tomorrow at 3.30 pm at DMP owned store complex, Akkaraipattu in Ampara. The anticipated Maha season harvest is 2.8 Million Metric Tons of which 0.3 Million Metric Ton are to buy the Government to protect both the consumer and the farmer. Facilities have been arranged to store safely the paddy to be purchased. All stores of the Paddy Marketing Board are being modernized with the assistance of the Army. In addition a programme is being implemented to purchase paddy through District Secretaries. The aim of the government is to prevent Paddy/ Rice Mafia from controlling price of rice when shortage of rice is experienced. Steps have also been taken to minimize middle men’s involvement and enhance the involvement of Agriculture Research and Production Assistants with any profit, if available, passing on to their hands. The paddy Marketing Board have the opportunity of purchasing paddy through alternative arrangements in areas where “Kupanisa“ officers are not available. The special feature of Maha Season paddy purchasing is the fully involvement of state machinery and all arrangement have been made to undertake purchasing throughout the island from early next month.