The government is considering to increase the guaranteed price for paddy from the forthcoming Yala season, Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources Development Minister P. Harrison said.There would also be a mechanism to keep the balance between paddy prices and the price of rice to safeguard the farmer and consumer, he said.
He was speaking at the Rajarata ‘Govi Jana Abhiman’ celebration held in Anuradhapura, recently, to appreciate industrious and dedicated farmers and officials in the North Central Province.“The nation is proud of the farmer community and state agriculture, irrigation, and agrarian development officials, especially agriculture development and research assistants at the grassroots level,” the minister said.
“They know the plight of our farmers toiling on soil amidst natural disasters such as droughts, floods, kidney menace and pests such as the Fall Army Worm, Brown Plant Hopper etc., to provide food for our survival,” the minister said.Minister Harrison said the government had allocated Rs. 300 million for the payment of compensation to maize farmers whose cultivations were damaged by the Fall Army Worm.
He said 375 farmers in Ampara were compensated and about 200 farmers would be paid compensation at a rate of Rs. 40,000 per acre next week.He appealed to farmers, officials and intermediary agencies related to food production to keep close coordination and links without discrimination in achieving the food production and food security targets, devoid of political differences, personal gains etc.
D. P. Nalaka Sanjeewa representing the Eppawala Agrarian Development Division was awarded as the Best Farmer in the Anuradhapura District and Sarangani Rajapaksha in Kallanchiya was felicitated as the Best Sithamu Woman Entrepreneur in the Anuradhapura District.C. Madanayake in the Manningamuwa Agriculture Research and Production Division was selected as the Best Agriculture Research and Production Assistant in the Anuradhapura District while K. G. Gnanawathi in the Bakamuna Agrarian Development Division was felicitated as the Best Farmer Woman in the Polonnaruwa District. K. M. K. Bandara Manike received the award for the Best Agriculture Research and Production Assistant in the district. The Pulasthigama Agrarian Development Centre and the Kekirawa Agrarian Development Centre in Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura received the award for the Best Agrarian Development Centre in the North Central Province.Retired Assistant Agrarian Development Commissioners W. M. M. B. Pahala Giribawa and Lakshman Silva as well as retried Anuradhapura Agrarian Headquarters Divisional Officer D. B. M. R. B. Dissanayake were awarded certificates in appreciation of their work.Agrarian Development Commissioner General W. M. M. B. Weerasekara, Anuradhapura Government Agent R. M. Wanninayake, provincial politicians, state officials and farmers in Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura were present at the ceremony.