ECONOMYNEXT – Amid skyrocketing prices and fears expressed of a looming food crisis, Sri Lanka’s government on Tuesday (04) invited the public to grow fruits and vegetables in their home gardens for their own consumption, with the government providing 5,000 rupees worth of agriculture inputs per 20 perches of land.
Co-cabinet spokesman and Plantations Minister Dr Ramesh Pathirana told reporters on Tuesday that an allowance of 10,000 rupees will be made available for those interested per the extent of the land up to one acre maximum.
According to the minister, the goal is to increase production and productivity in Sri Lanka’s crisis-riddled agriculture sector as well as boost per capita consumption.
“At a time of crisis when some commodity prices have increased somewhat, we respectfully invite all Sri Lankans to make use of these provisions,” said Minister Pathirana.
“The government has launched a targeted imitative to increase agriculture production and productivity. We ask all Sri Lankans to actively contribute to this,” he added.
Government officials in Sri Lanka have been sacked for their warnings of an impending food crisis brought on by a widely criticised decision to switch to organic fertilizer overnight amid an ever worsening economic crisis. Though it has now been revoked and the import of agrochemicals is allowed, farmers island wide struggle to find fertilizer for their crops.
On December 22, Agriculture Ministry Secretary Prof Udith K Jayasinghe was unceremoniously replaced following a statement he had made about coming food shortages.
Prior to that, Professor Buddhi Marambe, atop advisor on agriculture, was sacked from all his government positions after his criticism of the agrochemical ban. (Colombo/Jan04/2021)