With the assistance provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the government has decided to provide a subsidy of 15,000 rupees (42 dollars) per family to low-income rice farming families in 07 districts of the country for their livelihood development.
Accordingly, this allowance will be given to farming families living in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Monaragala and Battcaloa whose monthly income is less than 41,500 rupees, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said.
As a result of the discussions conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agricultural Development, USAID has instructed to provide the said amount to the low income farming families in those districts.
The Commissioner General of the Department of Agricultural Development A.M.H.L.Abeyratne stated that the afore-mentioned amount would be given in two installments in the month of January.
Also, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has taken action to give an amount of 08 billion rupees to 1.2 million farming families in the island. An amount of 10,000 to 20,000 rupees will be given to the farmer families and under the first phase, arrangements have been made to credit 04 billion rupees to the respective farmers’ accounts before the 31st of this month. Department of Agricultural Development said that the remaining 04 billion also will be credited to the farmers’ accounts in January.
Under the ADB assistance, farmers who cultivate up to 01 hectare will be given a sum of 10,000 rupees and farmers who cultivate up to 02 hectares will be given an amount of 20,000 rupees.
The Minister of Agriculture said that none of the allowances would be recovered from the farmers and all these international aids were given as free grants to the farmers of this country. The Minister also emphasized that this amount of relief had never been given to the farmers in any other season.
In the meantime, arrangements have been made to provide one bag of Urea fertilizer free of charge to every paddy farmer who cultivates less than half an acre in the next Yala season. The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) have contributed in providing the fertilizer.