Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera attended a discussion on agriculture issues held at the Presidential Secretariat, where he announced plans to provide Mada Pohora (TSP) to farmers at a lower price than the current market rate for the upcoming Yala season, through a gazette notification.
The discussion addressed various agriculture-related topics, including fertilization strategies, paddy marketing issues, and the prevention of yellowing in paddy cultivation. The Department of Agriculture revealed that the reduction in the use of Mada Pohora (TSP) is the main cause of yellowing in paddy cultivation. To prevent this disease in the upcoming Yala season, measures will be taken to increase the use of Mada Pohora (TSP).
The discussion also highlighted the different viewpoints promoted by organic and chemical fertilizer companies, and the importance of reaching a common viewpoint was emphasized by various scholars and institutions. Special attention was given to the use of fertilizer in the upcoming Yala season, and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake stressed the importance of providing farmers with the opportunity to purchase fertilizer at a lower rate than the previous season. Representatives from fertilizer companies suggested that the Agriculture Department should recommend suitable crops and agricultural inputs to farmers to increase their production at a lower cost.
During the discussion, the Minister of Agriculture noted that despite the challenges faced by farmers, they were able to produce a better paddy harvest in the last Yala and Maha seasons in line with market requirements. The possibility of selling old rice in warehouses as animal feed was also discussed, with the potential to increase the price of rice and decrease the prices of eggs and chicken in the market.
The discussion was attended by various officials, including the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayake, and President’s Adviser on Food Security, Suren Batagoda. Other participants included Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Gunadasa Samarasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security A.M.P.M.B. Athapattu, Director General of the Department of Agriculture P. Malathi, Director General of the Consumer Affairs Authority, and representatives of organic and chemical fertilizer companies.
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