President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed the government officials to take the necessary measures to purchase a kilo of paddy at a guaranteed price of Rs. 100.
The President further said that the Northern Province and Jaffna District will be developed as a province capable of supplying food to Sri Lanka.
These remarks were revealed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (12) while attending the Northern Province harvest ceremony at Paranthan in Jaffna.
The President also inquired about the problems related to paddy cultivation from the farmers of the Paranthan area and assured that immediate solutions will be provided to those problems.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe further said:
The government promptly provided the required fertilizers to the farmers. Therefore, we believe that there will be a surplus of paddy harvest in the ‘Maha Season’. Accordingly, arrangements are being made for the government to purchase a kilo of paddy at a guaranteed price of Rs. 100.
Many people are currently experiencing financial difficulties. Even if yields increase, there is a segment of the population that lacks the financial means to purchase rice. Therefore, we are implementing a program to provide 10 kilos of rice free of charge to 2 million families during March and April. Then by the Sinhala New Year season, they would have received 20 kilos of rice.
Currently, approximately 03 metric tons of paddy is received per hectare. We require a minimum of six metric tons of rice per hectare. If possible, we hope to increase it to 07 metric tons. The government is working to provide the necessary facilities to achieve that target. More methods of purchasing and storing paddy will be developed in the future. We intend to build small and medium-sized rice mills. We will be able to succeed in those activities in the next two years. We have planned to provide the necessary water facilities for this area. We are working to restore the Punarin Lake. Iranamadu Lake has now been prepared.
We are working to transform the Jaffna district and the Northern Province into a province that is capable of producing enough food to feed the country once more. In addition to this, we hope to take steps to start the production of animal feed.
Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda, President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, former Member of Parliament Vijayakala Maheswaran, Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva, Inspector General of Police C D Wickramaratne and Northern Province Government officials participated in this event.
Following that, the President visited the Pannam Kandi field, Kilinochchi and discussed the problems of the farmers there.
A large number of local people had gathered around to see the President and the President made it a point to engage in friendly discussion with those gathered and especially focused on the children and inquired about their educational activities.
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