- Published on Monday, 23 April 2012 12:14
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Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that there will be no change in the fertilizer subsidy and rejected rumours being spread by certain individuals to mislead the farmers that plans are underfoot to withdraw the fertilizer subsidy.
The minister made these comments addressing a function held at the Godagama Pandarama Viharaya in Matara. The function was held in connection with the cultivation of fallow paddy lands in Godagama and Eduwa areas coming under the Nilwala Ganga project. The Minister said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has a keen interest on the implementation of the Nilwalaganga project, has allocated 750 million rupees as expeditious assistance for cultivation of fallow paddy lands in the Matara district, under the Nilwalaganga scheme.
The function was organized by the Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority in coordination with the Post Harvest Technical Institution.
The Minister said that Sri Lanka has become self sufficient in rice and the paddy harvest in the last season amounted to around 100 thousand metric tons. He said that many acreage of paddy land which were left abandoned due to the terrorist problem because of heavy extortions levied by the terrorists from the farmers as well as traders were cultivated during the last Maha season resulting a considerable increase in the harvest.
He said the production of maize has reached 100 percent from the earlier 20 percent. Sri Lanka needs two million tons of green grams annually. In the last season 400 thousand tons of green gram was produced in Sri Lanka. He said that streamlined plans have been made to make Sri Lanka self sufficient in the production of green grams, black grams and pulses within the next three years and thereby save a considerable amount of foreign exchange being drained out of the country for the importation of these products. (niz)