Minister amaraweera vows to give the best deal to local farmers
By Ifham NIzam
Farmers in Sri Lanka have always been given high quality fertilisers. Although many countries use 1.5 percent biuret urea fertiliser, Sri Lanka used less than one percent of it in urea fertiliser, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amraweera said.
Minister Amaraweera was critical about baseless allegations that Sri Lanka provided low quality rice to consumers. There is no need to import rice anymore, he added.
He stressed that the percentage of biuret in the urea fertilisers given by the Indian government is less than one percent. “Therefore, I say with responsibility that our country’s farmers produce the best rice in Asia.”
Some 275,000 hectares of paddy lands are to be cultivated this year. By the first week of June, only about 248,000 hectares had been cultivated, the Minister said. As a result, there was a risk of a shortage of rice for the country. That is why the government took steps to import rice, he added.
However, the present government had taken steps to provide urea fertiliser to farmers under a credit line of the Indian government, and the area under paddy cultivation had increased to 512,000 hectares. “Therefore, we have enough rice for the country until the end of December, ”, the Minister said.
The government is responsible for protecting the farmers here, he said adding: “What we should do is to protect the farmers of our country. It is not to protect the farmers of other countries. If our farmer leaves the fields, then the country will starve.
Therefore, as the Minister of Agriculture,“I will take all possible measures to protect the farmers of our country.”