Focusing on starting the Paddy Cultivation Activities using Convective Rains that fall before the Northeast Monsoon Rains.
The Ministry of Agriculture has focused on how the cultivation activities should be carried out in the coming Maha season considering the drought situation that has affected the country due to the El Nino process in the Pacific Ocean.
Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture has instructed the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agrarian Development today (31) to inform the farmers to start the basic activities such as cleaning the canals & dams, clearing the paths of paddy fields for the commencement of farming activities before the onset of the northeast monsoon rains in approaching Maha season as well as to start the initial ground preparation activities using the convective rains that fall before the monsoon.
According to the expert opinions, there is a higher possibility of receiving heavy rainfall in this Maha season, especially in October and November. However, the Minister also advised to take this step to manage as much water as possible as there may be a dry weather condition again from January next year.
Amount of Crop Damage as of 2023.08.30
Meanwhile, it has been reported by yesterday that the amount of paddy field acres of additional crops that has been damaged is increased up to 59,073.98. Number of farmers affected is 54,152.
As of yesterday, the highest amount of crop damage is reported in Kurunegala district. The number of acres is 26,195.90. Number of farmers is 31,427.
The second most damage is reported from Udawalawe region. Accordingly, number of acres is 14,667.50 and the number of farmers is 5,867.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture does not have the ability to provide compensation or financial allocation for plantation crops (such as cinnamon, rubber, tea, pepper and coconut) under the scope of the Ministry of Agriculture for the current crop damages. Another Ministry has the said responsibility.
Crop damage compensation can be provided only for six (06) types of crops under the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board which is under the Ministry of Agriculture. The said 6 types of crops are paddy, maize, chilies, potatoes, big onions and soy beans. A sum of Rs. 100,000 per hectare at a rate of Rs. 40,000 per acre is being provided as compensation for these 6 crops in a case of crop damage under the normal insurance scheme.
This amount is a free compensation given by the government without any premium.
In addition to this, Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board has started an arrangement which will able the farmers to get a compensation of Rs. 2.5 lakhs per hectare at the rate of Rs.1 lakh per acre in a case of crop damage by paying a premium of Rs. 6400 for these crops per season.
Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture has mentioned that since the damage occurred to the paddy cultivation in this Yala season is exceptional, a higher compensation than this will be paid.
The Minister has also stated that the entire report will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers as soon as the current crop damage assessments are completed and compensation for the crop damage will be provided before the start of the Maha season.