Over 90 percent of the total paddy land area has been cultivated during the Maha season

Over 90 percent of the total paddy land area has been cultivated during the Maha season

Thu, Dec 23, 2021, 09:42 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 23, Colombo: At a progress review meeting held in Colombo Thursday District Agriculture Officers pointed out that 90% – 95% of the total paddy lands to be cultivated during the Maha season have been cultivated so far.

They also stated that this year’s paddy harvest will be between 70% – 75% of the last Maha season.

A special program on the distribution of eco-friendly fertilizer for the 2021 Maha season was held today (23) at the Waters Edge function hall in Battaramulla.

District Agriculture Officers, Deputy Commissioners of Agrarian Development, District Directors of Fertilizers and Provincial Directors of Agriculture in each District participated in the meeting chaired by the Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage and State Minister of Agriculture Shasheendra Rajapaksa.

Secretary to the State Ministry of Agriculture, Director General of Agriculture, Commissioner General of Agrarian Development and Additional Secretaries to the Ministry of Agriculture were also present at the meeting.

All the officials representing the districts explained the shortcomings and progress made at the district level in the distribution of organic solid fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, nano nitrogen liquid fertilizers under the government’s policy of establishing organic farming. Information on the extent of paddy land cultivated during this Maha season, the expected yield to be obtained from it, the distribution of fertilizer and the use of fertilizer by farmers at the district level were presented at this meeting.

It was revealed that some local fertilizer manufacturers had violated the agreement in supplying fertilizer.

Addressing the gathering Minister Aluthgamage instructed the Secretaries of the Ministries to call for a report before December 31 to ascertain whether the local fertilizer companies have complied with the agreements they reached.

The Minister said that everyone should be prepared to carry out organic farming as scheduled from the Yala season onwards, avoiding the shortcomings in the production and distribution of fertilizer during the Maha season.

He also thanked the officials of the Agriculture Department for their support in making the cultivation of paddy and other crops a success during the Maha season in the face of various challenges.

The Minister said that it was a matter of great pleasure to reveal at this meeting that paddy cultivation in the Polonnaruwa District has been more successful than other districts despite the media highlighting that organic farming has been rejected.

The Minister said that steps will be taken to provide a total package of fertilizer for paddy cultivation from next season and that the fertilizer producers should be responsible for the harvest.

It was also revealed at this meeting that a fertilizer black market business has been started in some districts after the introduction of organic farming.

The officials also pointed out that the prices of raw materials used for the production of compost fertilizer are very high.

The officials also drew the attention of the Ministers to the fact that the farmers have stopped using organic fertilizers due to the propaganda carried out by the electronic and print media.

Although it was not revealed that there is a shortage of fertilizer for large scale vegetable growers in vegetable growing districts such as Badulla and Nuwara Eliya, it is revealed at this meeting that the vegetable growers who own small lands are moving away from vegetable cultivation due to the lack of proper vegetable fertilizer.

The Minister said that this situation could change from January and that permission has been granted to import vegetable fertilizer.

Attention was also drawn to the establishment of research centers to evaluate the quality of fertilizers at the district level from the forthcoming Yala season. It was also decided to take necessary measures regarding the importation of agricultural implements required for paddy cultivation.

It was also decided at this meeting to implement a joint program between the Department of Agrarian Development and the Department of Agriculture to provide the required fertilizer especially for the crops grown for seed production.

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