‘We don’t need to import non-essential food items’ | Daily News

‘We don’t need to import non-essential food items’

State Minister Siripala Gamlath at the mobile service to settle land disputes.
State Minister Siripala Gamlath at the mobile service to settle land disputes.

If the agricultural needs of the Mahaweli farmer are provided and their farmlands are managed properly, there is no need to import non-essential food items, State Minister for Mahaweli Zones, Canals, and Settlement Infrastructure Development Siripala Gamlath said.

Through a proper management system of Mahaweli lands for cultivating crops, many food items can be produced in the country, the State Minister said.

State Minister Gamlath was participating in a mobile service organized to settle land disputes of the people in the Rambakan Oya Mahaweli Joint Development Project in Ampara. The mobile service was held at the training centre of the Mahaweli Authority at Maha Oya on September 25.

Addressing the gathering at the inauguration of the mobile service, the State Minister said that his aim was to use the Mahaweli Zones for the production of local food crops under the ‘Vision of Prosperity’ programme introduced by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“Today, we have a leader with a vision for the country. This is the best opportunity to correct past mistakes. President Rajapaksa assigned me this portfolio with many aims in mind. One of the prolonged disputes is that of Mahaweli settlers lacking rights to their freehold land,” State Minister Gamlath said.

“The price of a kilogram of paddy was fixed at Rs. 38 during the Good Governance regime. But the paddy price was increased to Rs.50 per kilogram when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa came to power. We did not see such an increase in the price of paddy in the past. A kilogram of paddy is sold at a price between Rs.50 and Rs.55 due to the competition among paddy buyers. Such a trend is favorable for the paddy farmer. Today, no farmer is compelled to commit suicide due to the inability to sell his harvest,” he said.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is continuing to introduce such brave decisions thereby creating a broad system to strengthen the farming community,” State Minister Gamlath said.

State Minister of Wildlife and Forest Development Wimalaweera Dissanayake, MPs W.D. Weerasinghe, Dr. Thilak Rajapaksa, Mahaweli Zone Development Ministry Secretary W.B. Palugaswewa, Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority Director-General and Engineer Sunil S. Perera and several others participated.