Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera addressing a press briefing at the PMC under the theme ‘one year of progress” said due to President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s new fertilizer policy, 512,000 hectares of paddy fields were cultivated in the Yala season after 10 years & under the agriculture modernization program it is planned to achieve 80% of the agricultural production output of the country’s consumption by 2025.
“President Ranil Wickramasinghe, within a year of his assumption of office, resolved the problems of the farmers quickly and directed them back to the cultivation land. Needless to say, the situation in the country when I took over the Ministry of Agriculture. Farmers protested on the roads demanding fertilizer. People were diverted from agriculture. The youths of the farming families left the farms and moved to other areas. Some young people also left the country. In such a situation, the main challenge for us is to return the people to the farming land
had. The people had no faith in the ministers of the parliament. At least the farmers did not come to talk about this issue”
“They demanded that fertilizer be given to them if they want to go back to the fields. It was planned to cultivate 2,75000 hectares in that Yala season. But only 2,12000 hectares had been cultivated. At that time, President Ranil Wickremesinghe negotiated with the Indian government and arranged to provide 6500 metric tons of fertilizer under the Indian loan scheme. But fertilizers cannot be provided under the Indian credit facility. Fertilizer brought from Oman was given to us”.
The farmers returned to the fields only after hearing that a fertilizer ship was coming to the port. Due to this, it became possible to cultivate 5,12000 hectares. After 10 years, it is the largest number of hectares cultivated in the Yala season.