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Sri Lanka to provide subsidized fertilizer for fruits and veggies though private sellers: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is starting a program to provide subsidized fertilizer for fruit and vegetable farmers through private distributors with shortages developing as cultivations begins in the current season, Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.

“We accept that there was a shortage of fertilizers in the Maha season,” Cabinet spokesman Minister Pathirana told reporters in Colombo on June 25,

“We discussed the reasons for that in the cabinet several times as well.”Pathirana said.

It will not apply to paddy farming.

“In the Cabinet, the approve was given to collaborate with the Agrarian Development Centres and Agrarian development officers to develop a system to distribute fertilizers except for paddy fields in the Yala Season” Pathirana said.

Whenever there is no stocks available with the government stores, the Agricultural Research Production Assistant will issue an invoice to the farmer.

Using the invoice the farmer could get fertilizer from the open market.

The possibility of providing 50 percent of the approved ration of fertilizer from Agrarian Development Centre and the balance through the open market was also discussed, the state information office said.

Further decisions will be taken by the Department of Agriculture and Mahaweli Authority.

“The necessary steps will be taken under the supervision of Sri Lanka Department of Agriculture,
Agrarian Development District office and the Mahaweli Authority.” Pathirana said.

Sri Lanka’s central bank has printed large volumes of money, triggering monetary instability and many imports have been halted and exchange controls imposed. (Colombo/ June 27/ 2020)