Agriculture Minister says the green agriculture policy will not be abandoned
Sat, Jan 1, 2022, 01:40 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Jan 01, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage says since the Green Agriculture Policy is a very good decision taken by the Government, the Government and the President are committed to implement that policy despite the challenges.
The Minister said although it could seriously damage his political image he will stand with the head of the state to implement these policies with the benefit of the country and the people in mind.
Recalling that he has previously held ministerial posts in several ministries, the Ministry of Agriculture is one of the most active areas for mafias, with areas such as fertilizer and paddy taking the lead.
He made these revelations during a discussion with the new Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture DML Bandaranayke and senior officials of the Ministry yesterday (31).
“There are many talented, honest and good officials in this Ministry. But some people spoil their heads and not let them work. It is because of such people who externally act as advisors that even the talented secretaries who came to this Ministry had to leave the Ministry. Former Secretary Prof. Udith Jayasinghe is also a very talented person.” He said.
The Minister said the former secretary Prof. Udith Jayasinghe was willing to implement the government’s green agriculture policy but he was completely changed by the influence of a group of so-called external advisers. “We have to be careful about this invisible hand,” he added.
The Minister said the new Secretary should take over the responsibility of directing this Ministry from this year. As the Minister, he will formulate policies and give them to obtain government approval. He hoped that the Secretary would direct the activities of the Ministry, review the progress and submit monthly progress reports.
The Minister pointed out that the government has done a great deal of work during the past year and that four institutions, including the Janawasama, which were destroyed during the last period of good governance, have now been made profitable.
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage further said that he would not pressure any official and that he would accept the instructions given to him by the officials regarding the government regulations and act accordingly.
“The whole country is looking at the Ministry of Agriculture. Therefore, the activities of the Ministry should take place in a planned manner. Even the Rs. 75 million received by the Ministry last year could not be spent.”
The Minister said that he personally had to make great efforts to hold progress review meetings of the Ministry and that he should work with the new Secretary to overcome all these shortcomings in the future.
Minister Aluthgamage said that the institutions under the Ministry should also work with the Secretary in a transparent manner and give their full support to get rid of the dependent economy and strengthen the manufacturing economy as expected by the government.
In particular, the Minister said that 100% of the import of chilies should be stopped by 2024 and the import of potatoes and onions should be limited to 35%.
The Minister pointed out that his previous ministries such as the Ministry of Power and Energy and the Ministry of Sports had made a number of changes that were beneficial to the country’s economy. The Minister said that everyone should be committed to complete the green agriculture program soon and lead it to success.
The Minister urged all officials to continue the program launched by the Ministry of Agriculture so far with the commitment of the officers and to work more effectively for the betterment of agriculture in this country.