Government owes potato farmers Rs. 30 Mn

Government owes potato farmers Rs. 30 Mn

Written by Staff Writer

20 Feb, 2019 | 10:14 pm

Colombo (News 1st): A group of farmers arrived at the Ministry of Agriculture today (Feb 20) demanding for their money after the government purchased their potato crops. Farmers from Welimada and Uva Paranagama arrived at the Ministry of Agriculture in Rajagiriya this morning (Feb 20).

The government had promised to pay Rs. 92 per kilo, for potatoes that were purchased from farmers. However, the farmers allege that the government has not made any payments.

Treasurer and Convener of the Uva, Paranagama & Welimada Joint Farmers Association, Rohitha Jayasekara noted that the government has not paid for the potatoes that were purchased six months ago at Rs. 92 per kilo. He added that they met with the minister of agriculture this morning and he claims that the government did not purchase any potatoes. He pointed out that the minister was rude and said ”go protest and stage demonstrations”’.

The farmers noted that the government owes them nearly Rs. 30 million. They requested the government to at least pay for the potatoes that were purchased from the Uva Paranagama area.  The farmers who engaged in the protest obstructed the entrance of the Ministry of Agriculture.

When the Minister of Agriculture for the Uva Province, Upali Samaraweera arrived at the scene, a tense situation arose. Minister of Agriculture for the Uva Province Upali Samaraweera noted that he met with Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and he had said that he will take steps to ensure that the farmers will receive their payments.

Meanwhile, the police threw tear gas to disperse protesters, who had staged a demonstration in Padiyathalawa, obstructing the Ampara – Kandy main road.

The residents of Padiyathalawa staged this demonstration to express their opposition against tipper vehicles which were used to transport sand across their village. The demonstrators claim that these vehicles cause heavy damage to their roadways.

The demonstrators obstructed the area near the Padiyathalawa post office on the Ampara – Kandy main route. Police stated that they resorted to using force, due to the inconvenience caused to the public.



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