‘Unflagging support for the farmer’
Fertiliser at subsidised rate for farmers:
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will record a landslide
victory at the forthcoming Provincial Council elections since the
government has ushered unprecedented development in agriculture. The
vast development in agriculture related activities will help the farmer
community which in turn will develop the country, SLFP General Secretary
and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said.
Speaking at a press conference at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, the
minister said the government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s
leadership has almost completed the Kaluganga and Moragahakanda projects
while taking measures to commence the Deduru Oya and Uma Oya projects
soon. “These projects will address the Dry Zone farmers’ water issue,
not solved for 45 years,” Sirisena said.
He said the country’s major reservoirs have been renovated by the
government. Minister Sirisena said the government is providing
fertiliser at a subsidised rate of Rs 350 while the same is bought by
the government at Rs 3,500.
He said when the government provided the subsidy first, the
fertiliser was bought at Rs 8,000.
“The government is renovating paddy stores that were closed and
destroyed by previous governments. It has also planned to construct new
paddy stores. The government revived the Paddy Marketing Board that was
closed down by the UNP, to encourage paddy cultivators,” the minister
said.Sirisena said paddy, maize, fruit and vegetable cultivators in the
North Central Province and Eastern Province, tea, rubber and coconut
cultivators in the Sabaragamuwa Province and dairy farmers throughout
the country have reaped a good income after 2005 since terrorism was
The minister said the government on President Rajapaksa’s
instructions initiated the Farmer Pension Scheme last month. He said
this government revived the agriculture sector initiated by leaders like
D S Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, S W R D Bandaranaike and Sirimavo
Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Minor Export Crop
Promotion Minister Reginald Cooray also participated.