Agriculture Minister instructs to take steps to stop the imports of seeds and milk powder by 2024

Agriculture Minister instructs to take steps to stop the imports of seeds and milk powder by 2024

Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 11:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 15, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that the Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to implement 22 policy based programs during the past one year for the betterment of the agriculture sector by protecting dairy farmers, chena farmers and paddy farmers.

The Minister pointed out that this may be the first time that so much work has been done in a year in the field of agriculture with various challenges.

The Minister disclosed this at a progress review meeting held yesterday (14) with the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Secretaries and Heads of Institutions of the State Ministries related to Agriculture.

He also said that the importation of seeds to Sri Lanka should be stopped by 2024 and produce the required seeds in the country and the goal of stopping the import of milk powder and getting the people accustomed to liquid milk should be achieved.

The Minister said that it was the responsibility of all of us to work towards achieving the goals set out in the agriculture sector as stated in President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Vision for Prosperity’ policy statement without being influenced by multinational corporations.

The discussion also focused on stopping the import of chilies completely and reducing the import of potatoes and onions to 35%.

The Minister also emphasized that outdated ordinances pertaining to the Ministry of Agriculture and its affiliates should be amended and updated expeditiously.

Attention was also drawn to the need to reduce wastage in the transportation of vegetables and to expedite the implementation of the program of stopping the ill-gotten gains of middlemen while paying the farmers a good price for their produce and transporting them by train to economic centers.

It was revealed that although the Janatha Estate Development Board under the Ministry of Agriculture had gone bankrupt during the previous regime, progress has been made to make a profit during the last one year.

Lanka Phosphate Company has also increased its production capacity from 4,000 to 7,000 MT, the Minister noted.

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