Written by Tharushan Fernando
23 Dec, 2016 | 7:12 pm
Although agriculture is considered as an independent means of employment, those living in Agrarian Settlements and cultivating in those lands are bound to the rules and regulations of the state.
The decisions reached at the seasonal meetings under Agrarian Settlements are considered mandatory to the farmers living and cultivating in those lands.
There is no provision for the government nor the farmer to breach those conditions.
The Subject Minister informed Parliament recently that of the total paddy lands in the country, only 20% have been cultivated during this harvesting season.
Of the 20 %, 15% of cultivated paddy lands are location in the Ampara District. Around 66,000 hectares of paddy lands in Ampara district have been cultivated which mount to 95 percent of the total paddy land in the District.
The secret behind this success is the water stored in the D.S.Senanayake Samudraya despite the negative effects of climate change being strongly felt in the Ampara District.
However, more than climate change, its the lack of the fertilizer subsidy that has destroyed much of the paddy lands in the area.
The Agrarian Settlement Committee Meeting of the Gal-Oya Left Bank took place today in a back-drop where only a group of farmers were provided with cash for the fertilizer subsidy after a delay of 50 days. The officers from the respective state institution who took part in this meeting put the blame of the delay in providing cash for the fertilizer subsidy on the laurels of the farmers.
During the last season, farmers across many areas of the Island were provided cash for the fertilizer subsidy around 40 days after cultivation had commenced.
It should be noted that even animals give priority to food and safety. However, the Government has shown no regard to enhance food security in the country and the delay in providing the fertilizer subsidy has not only aggravated the plight of farmers but also put the entire population at risk.
Today a proposal was passed at the Agrarian Settlement Committee Meeting of the Gal-Oya Left Bank to compensate destroyed paddy lands after an assessment whether those lands could have given a harvest with the fertilizer subsidy.
According to the rules and regulations of the Government, this meeting was held under a lawful and accepted manner.
Therefore, could the government disregard the proposal adopted?
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