Government to prepare national policy for agriculture – minister

Government to prepare national policy for agriculture – minister

Government to prepare national policy for agriculture – minister

Written by Staff Writer

26 Nov, 2020 | 10:22 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The government will prepare a national policy for agriculture in a year, agriculture minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has said.

“We expect to witness the production of chillie, potato and onion seeds required by the country in three years,” the minister said in parliament on Thursday.

Aluthgamage declared that the government will purchase 1000 kilos of paddy from farmers to counter a monopoly of the commodity in the country.

“We will establish a standard purchasing price for farmers and a ceiling price for consumers,” he stressed.

During a parliamentary debate, opposition lawmakers blamed the government over a sugar mafia and for giving away state lands for private companies.

Ranjith Madduma Bandara, a Samagi Jana Balawegaya parliamentarian pointed out that a company had imported 36,000 tonnes of sugar days after the government removed a levy.

“As a result, the government lost seven billion in tax revenue,” he observed. “…the people did not receive financial relief. Ultimately a few businessmen earned profits.”

Bandara pointed out that the sugar imported in this consignment at Rs 8o a kilo is being sold at Rs 120 in the market.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the Jathika Jana Balawegaya, pointed out that giving away lands to private companies will disfavour the agriculture industry.

“The young generation of farmers do not have lands to cultivate. They do not have lands to at least construct houses,” he pointed out.

Dissanayake recalled previous instances in which massive land areas were offered to private companies including the multinational Dole company for development projects.

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