Mr.Mahinda Amaraweera, the Minister of Agriculture has decided to appoint three farmer representatives to the Paddy Price Determination Committee.
Farmer representatives yesterday (09) made a request to the Minister to provide an opportunity for their representatives to be included in the Paddy Price Determination Committee.
Accordingly, the Minister stated that measures will be taken to include three farmer representatives to the Paddy Price Determination Committee with the concurrence of the farmer organization representatives in all 25 districts.
During this Maha season, Paddy Marketing Board will not directly purchase paddy and the Government has taken steps to purchase paddy through District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries.
The Minister emphasized that the Government has allocated Rs.10 billion for paddy purchases and if necessary, the President will decide to allocate another Rs.10 billion for that purpose.
A kilo of paddy is to be purchased at Rs.100 taking into account the statements made by farmers that the price of paddy had fallen to between Rs.65-70.
Plans are underway to purchase 63,000 metric tons of paddy for distribution among 2.9 million low-income families at the rate of 10 kg of rice per month for two months.
However, the Minister said that steps will be taken to include three farmer representatives in the Paddy Price Determination Committee to give them an opportunity to represent the farmers.