Paddy farmers burdened with their own harvest

Paddy farmers burdened with their own harvest

Written by Staff Writer

03 Mar, 2019 | 9:16 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The paddy farmers who went through immense hardships to harvest their Maha season production have faced another tragedy; a proper price for their harvest.

After three years of insufficient rain for cultivation, farmers were able to cultivate at the end of last year(2018) due to heavy rain. Harvesting of the Maha season crops has commenced all over the country.

Although the harvest is prosperous the farmers are burdened with the low price offered.

The Paddy Marketing Board decided to pay a standard price of Rs.38 for a kilo of Nadu and Rs.41 for a kilo of Samba. News 1st research found that the plight of farmers is entirely different to what the government portrays.

News 1st team conducted their analyses in areas of Dambulla, Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Galgamuwa, Akkaraipattu, Nindawaru, Oluvil to verify these comments.

Several farmers met the News 1st teams and shared their views.

A farmer from Dambulla said that they were informed that the government would only buy ten kilos of paddy from an acre. He had cultivated eighteen acres and had crops of over 10 kilos per acre. He added that he would have to sell the rest of his paddy at a loss.

Another farmer noted that despite the Paddy Marketing Board informing them that they would purchase their harvest it turned out to be a pack of lies.

The reports also state that in some areas the government has failed to open its storage facilities further complicating the purchase of paddy.

The plight in Polonnaruwa and Minneriya were not so different from Dambulla or Kandalama as over 1500 acres of paddy fields are ready to be harvested. “Who will buy the paddy?” is the lament of the farmers.

Additionally, it was apparent that no responsible official has taken any measures to inform the farmers about the government’s paddy purchasing process or about paddy purchasing centres.

In another context, reports mention that several ministers including the Prime Minister had visited India to offer prayers at Thirupathi kovil. The Prime Minister and the rest of the team took a special helicopter to Tirumala hills.


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