Paddy price for farmers will be increased from Maha season – Minister Aluthgamage | Daily News

Paddy price for farmers will be increased from Maha season – Minister Aluthgamage

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage assured farmers, especially those in the Polonnaruwa District that the Government has already made a decision to increase the price of paddy from the next Maha season and requested farmer communities not to strengthen rice mill owners at this moment when there is a scarcity of rice in the country.

He said that the rice mill owners have bought large stocks of paddy from farmers between Rs. 55 and Rs. 60 a kilo and earn millions and in addition, they have hoarded a large quantity of rice in their stores expecting to sell them at exorbitant prices. The Minister said that the Government is always representing farmer communities in their needs and requested farmers not to follow rice mill owners.

Kauduluwewa Farmer Association Chairman Ashoka Karunasen said the farmers of the district are keeping large stocks of paddy saying that Minister Aluthgamage met farmer organizations at Polonnaruwa on July 23 and assured them that paddy will be bought at Rs. 60 to Rs. 65, but it does not happen as promised and ultimately they had to sell their paddy to rice mill owners. He said that with the purchasing of paddy by the Government from rice mill owners under the Government approved control price the farmers are unable to sell large stocks of paddy they own now and due to this, farmers are facing difficulties.

Minister Aluthgamage said that the `National Policy on Agriculture’, will be approved by the Cabinet and it will largely benefit farmer communities and assured that the grievances of farmers could be completely resolved with the implementation of the policy.

He said that this is the first time a Policy on Agriculture will be approved by the Government considering numerous problems faced by farmers including the need of water in the Dry Zone, fertilizer, transportation and about bank loans of farmers.

The Minister also said that farmers will be provided with fertilizer free from next year.

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