The Ministry of Agriculture has raised concerns of a potential food shortage owing to the sudden and extreme weather conditions experienced in the country since of late.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Ministry’s premises on October 04, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera explained that owing to the arid weather conditions faced earlier, nearly 70,000 acres of paddy cultivation, while hundreds of acres of cultivated land which were ready for harvest were also destroyed due to the recent torrential rains.

Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera departed the island on Thursday to attend the Global Conference on International Year of Millets

Speaking further on the vegetable crops that were destroyed in the Southern Province due to the heavy rains, Amaraweera revealed that nearly 15,000 acres of cultivated mung beans which were ready for harvest in Hambantota were destroyed, emphasisng  that nearly 40% of Sri Lanka’s mung bean requirement could have been covered with this harvest.

Thus, further emphasising the possible risk of a food shortage within the country, Minister Amaraweera advised the Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry, Gunadasa Samarasinghe, that programmes encouraging the growing of vegetable crops in gardens, and other such programmes to maximise the harvest during the upcoming Maha cultivation season be implemented immediately.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture was also requested to submit a report on the total damage caused to crops due to the extreme weather.