President issues directive:
PMB to purchase Yala paddy harvest
President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB)
to empty its warehouses and make arrangements to purchase the upcoming
Yala paddy harvest from farmers.
Minister Johnston Fernando rides a new brand of motorcycle
distributed among PMB field officers. PMB chairman K B
Jayasinghe is with the minister.
Picture by Nissanka Wijerathne
Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said the
PMB has made arrangements to purchase the Yala paddy harvest, expected
in the market within the next two-three weeks.
He said storage facilities have been improved to store the paddy
purchased from farmers islandwide.
The minister was participating in a ceremony in Colombo yesterday to
distribute new motorcycles among 40 field officers attached to the PMB
to streamline their services to paddy farmers.
The minister said the intention of providing motor bikes to field
officers is to enable them to make visits to farmers and provide a
The private sector goes to the farmers to purchase the paddy harvest
and the PMB field officers could do the same," he further said.
"Today, the UNP is trying to portray the PMB as an inefficient
institution which has no proper paddy purchasing plan.
But, they have forgotten that it was the UNP which dissolved the PMB
resulting in a loss of over 3,500 jobs and paddy stores being given to
UNP cronies," he said .
"Farmers livelihoods have been uplifted by providing the Rs.350
fertilizer subsidy and purchasing paddy stocks from farmers at a
reasonable price after President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power in