Anuradhapura farmers have little hope of Yala harvest | Daily News

Anuradhapura farmers have little hope of Yala harvest

The 2022 Yala paddy cultivation has been dragging on showing little progress.

Although it was planned to cultivate paddy on 91,500 hectares this Yala season, according to the Anuradhapura district Deputy Agrarian Development Commissioner Chaminda Ekanayake, only around 67,000 hectares have been either cultivated or remain to be sowed with or without fertilizer.

The majority of farmers it is reported have taken to Yala cultivation mainly to gain at least a harvest adequate for their consumption.

It is learnt that the non-availability of either quality compost fertilizer or chemical fertilizer has been a severe blow for the farmers to start cultivation although there is ample irrigational water available in the majority of major and medium-scale tanks in the district.

“The supply of compost by around 11 fertilizer companies who undertook to provide fertilizer in time for Yala is very unsatisfactory. The fertilizer requirement of the district is 47,800 metric tons and the supply has been limited to 17,080 metric tons. On the other hand, most of the district level compost fertilizer manufacturing programmes have been a failure and in many cases production has been not up to standard.

The farmers have no hope regarding chemical fertilizer being supplied by India at the eleventh hour, as the 2022 Yala cultivation season has already expired,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

Ekanayake revealed that a cultivation programme for using abandoned paddy lands for growing additional food crops such as vegetables and fruits has been already activated in the district at 43 agrarian development centres.

“We have succeeded in cultivating around 16,200 acres of such land mainly with maize, cowpea green gram, kurakkan, big onions, chillies, undhu, groundnuts, gingelly, pumpkin, brinjal, dambala, ladies fingers, snake goard, papaw, banana, water melon, etc. for maintaining food security,

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