Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture has stated that due to the impact of sudden weather changes in the country at present, there is a risk that our country will have to face a food shortage.
The Minister made this warning in a discussion regarding the implementation of projects to increase the production of food crops at the Ministry of Agriculture this morning (04).
About 70,000 acres of paddy cultivation have been destroyed due to the severe drought in the past few days and hundreds of acres of paddy cultivation which were about to be harvested have also been destroyed due to the torrential rains that are currently falling in several provinces.
The vegetable cultivations in the low country have also been destroyed by the rain. Around 15,000 acres of green gram crops that were cultivated in Hambantota district have also been completely destroyed. About 40 percent of the country's total green gram requirement could be obtained through this cultivation.
Emphasizing the possibility of a food shortage due to this, the Minister advised Mr. Gunadasa Samarasinghe the Secretary of Agriculture to immediately implement a program for growing vegetables in the gardens as much as possible and a food crop cultivation plan for this Maha season.
Also, the Minister has informed that a report regarding food crop damage due to weather changes should be provided immediately by the Department of Agriculture. The Minister informed that the food crop cultivation plan prepared accordingly should be jointly implemented by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Development and steps should be taken to get many other institutions to participate in this.
The Minister also mentioned in this discussion that due to the Meteorological divisions predicting that the current rainy weather condition and drought conditions may occur again in the next Yala season, close attention should be paid regarding this.
Officials from several institutions including the Department of Livestock, Agriculture participated in this discussion.