ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved 40 billion rupee package to compensate paddy farmers who have been hit by the government’s controversial inorganic fertilizer ban.
Farmers have been now demanding the government for compensation as promised after they have reported a significant drop in the harvest mainly due to lack of chemical weedicide and pesticide usage.
“If there is a crop loss, the cabinet has approved to compensate them. Over 40,000 million rupees been allocated by the government for this,” Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told the weekly cabinet news briefing on Tuesday (25).
“This is included in the government’s 229 billion relief package. There had been continuous protest over crop loss due to the organic fertilizer. I as the Agriculture minister repeatedly promised to compensate them if they involved in the organic cultivation.”
He said 490,000 farmers were involved in paddy cultivation in 800,000 hectare in the last cultivation season.
“At the moment, we are monitoring the harvest and if there is any loss, we will compensate.”
“We went to the paddy fields which are cultivated with organic fertilizer. In some districts there had been 10 percent loss and in some there had been 20-30 percent loss. Farmers who started the cultivation on time did not see any crop loss.”
He said all the farmers who cultivated in the Maha season will be compensated.
“We promised to compensate and as promised we will compensate. So now people do not have to blame the government. If you have involved with this organic fertilizer programme, we will never let you down. We will compensate the loss.” (Colombo/Jan25/2022)