Agriculture Ministry steps in to stem fertiliser discrepancies

Agriculture Ministry steps in to stem fertiliser discrepancies

Agriculture Ministry steps in to stem fertiliser discrepancies

Written by Tharushan Fernando

22 Jan, 2016 | 10:53 pm

The Ministry of Agriculture has instructed two state fertiliser companies to issue sufficient stocks of fertiliser to all agrarian service centres in the country. The Ministry notes that there is no reason for a shortage of fertiliser to arise.

However, it was reported that there was a shortage of fertiliser across a number of areas in the country.

Farmers in Anurahdapura have been severely affected due to the shortage of fertiliser.Farmers says that as the period for adding fertiliser to the paddy fields had passed, many acres of paddy land have been destroyed.

That was an extract of a discussion that took place at the Weerawila Agrarian Services Centre in Hambantota when the farmers visited the Centre to obtain fertiliser. (Please see video.)

Farmers who visited many such agrarian services centres had to go back empty-handed as fertiliser was not released despite of stocks being reported at the stores.

National organiser of the All Ceylon Peasants’ Federation, Namal Karunaratne stated that there are stocks of fertiliser in the stores and over the recent past, and that businessmen, traders and middle-men purchased fertiliser from these stores and centres in bulk stocks – with a bag of fertiliser priced at Rs.1200 .

He alleged that government fficials are involved in this and today the government announced the prices of fertiliser, which will come in to effect from March 1, and this plan is to sell the bag of fertiliser priced from Rs.3000  to Rs.3400 rupees for and their plan is to earn a massive profit

On Friday evening, the Ministry of Agriculture convened a media briefing where the Minister of Agriculture, Duminda Dissanayake stated that the cultivation in several areas of Hambantota commenced after the harvesting season and the fertiliser required for all the areas that commenced late  will be available at all the agrarian service centres, under the existing system.

“If there is information that someone is holding stocks, please keep us informed,” he said and elaborated that holding stocks means that they want to have a bigger profit. But these are state funds and resources and if someone is selling the bags which read government subsidised fertiliser for a price which is not mentioned in that bag, do not purchase that.

He  added that, starting tomorrow, all centres that have registered can place their fertiliser orders and obtain them. He stated that he ministry requests those distributors to place their orders tomorrow and the stocks of fertiliser will be released starting tomorrow.

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