ACTION TV: Ampara farmers left in the lurch – unsold harvests, unbearable losses

ACTION TV: Ampara farmers left in the lurch – unsold harvests, unbearable losses

ACTION TV: Ampara farmers left in the lurch – unsold harvests, unbearable losses

Written by Tharushan Fernando

13 Aug, 2016 | 10:23 pm

Seventeen thousand (17,000) acres of farmland that receive water from the Uhana Nava Kiriyagama tank are among the first plots of land to be irrigated in the country, signalling the start of each farming season.

Of this land, 400 acres in Rajagalathanna and Nogelanda fall under the purview of the Ampara district, while the rest come under the purview of the Batticaloa district.

This 17,000 acres of land is important to the entire country because a majority of this land produces paddy seeds used by farmers around the country.

On May 13 , Action TV revealed that the farmers of Rajagalathanna and Nogelanda have been left destitute, even after following the instructions of the Department of Agriculture, and producing paddy seeds.

These farmers have been left helpless as the Department of Agriculture had gone back on their promise and had not purchased paddy seeds from these farmers.

Even in such a backdrop, the farmers of these areas took steps to commence cultivation. These visuals show the manner in which the paddy plants have grown 40 days after they were planted.

Please see video.

The residents lament that farmers engaged in cultivation after pawning their jewellery. They called on the authorities to intervene and mitigate losses and to provide fertiliser at the earlier price and take immediate steps to compensate for earlier losses.

In a backdrop where the government failed to provide the fertiliser subsidy on time and also failed to provide compensation, the harvest of these farmers during the previous season dropped by 60%.

It has been over forty days since this harvest was brought into their homes. Over 5000 farmers who have been unable to sell their produce are now faced with the tough task of preparing for the next farming season.

If the farmers hope to engage in their activities next season, they will have to sell off their produce at extremely low prices. The Paddy Marketing Board revealed to these farmers recently that they will begin purchasing paddy on August 25.

Due to the delay in purchasing of paddy these farmers will not be able to come up with the money to cultivate during the next season.

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