The Ministry of Agriculture commences the cultivation of fallow paddy lands today (25).
Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Agriculture mentioned that out of the total 100,000 acres of fallow paddy lands in Sri Lanka, the cultivation of 28,000 acres of fallow
paddy lands in 320 Agrarian Service Centers will commence today (25) for the “Yala season”.
Hence, marking the commencement of the national festival of cultivation, 140 acres of paddy fields in the Pahuru Oya area in the Dompe Agrarian Services Division will be
Minister Aluthgamage stated, by cultivating 28,000 acres of fallow paddy lands, 35,000 metric tons of paddy will be added to the paddy harvest during the “Yala season”. In addition, the canals of all fallow paddy fields will be cleaned and repaired and interest-free loans of Rs. 25,000 per acre will be handed over to farmers.
The Government will be providing fertilizer, technology and machinery facilities free of charge for this purpose. The cultivation of fallow paddy lands has been made compulsory on 10 acres in each Agrarian Services Division.
The Minister further asserted that 28,000 acres will be cultivated in the first phase and 22,000 acres and 50,000 acres under the second phase. He said that hopefully these deeds would help remove the term ‘barren paddy field’ from the dictionary of agriculture and move to a paddy cultivation program by all paddy farmers this year.
Moreover, he pointed out that there are several assertions shared on social media these days regarding a shortage of rice and the price of rice is high. The Minister of Agriculture added that 764,000 hectares – in other words – 3.2 million metric tons of paddy have been cultivated this season and 1.8 million metric tons is expected to be cultivated for the Yala season. Therefore, it is expected to produce 5 million metric tons of paddy in 2021.
The Minister asserted “when this is converted into rice, we will get 03 million metric tons of paddy and the people will need 195,000 kilos of paddy for monthly consumption”. As the annual rice requirement is 2.4 million metric tons, there is a surplus of 06 million metric tons of paddy.
Furthermore, according to the Minister, there is no shortage of rice or paddy in the country and the Ministry of Agriculture has cultivated the land and the farmers have received a very good price of about Rs.55-56 and the fertilizer subsidy.