The Ministry of Agriculture is taking measures to establish a comprehensive Data Base by collecting agriculture related information throughout the island. Accordingly a special media conference chaired by the Minister MahindanandaAluthgamage has been organized at the Ministry of Agriculture tomorrow 19.01.2021 at 11.00 a.m. with the objective of providing opportunity for all to gain access to a modern Data Base which include information of all state and private sector institutions involved in agriculture.
Therefore, you are kindly requested to ensure the participation of media group or media person of your institution at this press conference and your co-operation in this regard is highly appreciated.
Paddy purchasing programme of the Government to buy 0.3 Million Metric Ton through Paddy. Marketing Board commerce from Ampara tomorrow with the participation of Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and State Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa. Objective of the new programme is to encourage both the farming community and officials of state machinery involved in paddy farming. Every farmer who receive benefits of fertilizer subsidy has to sell 1000 kg of paddy from one hectare of cultivation. This novel programme will be implemented island wide under direct supervision of Assistant Commissioners of Agrarian Development and Regional Managers of Paddy Marketing Board while measures have been taken to undertake paddy purchasing through Agriculture Research and Production Assistants. The required packing bags are to be supplied by the Government. This pogramme has been planned to maintain a buffer stock of 0.3 Million Metric Tons in order to overcome paddy and rice Mafia in the country. Maha Season paddy harvesting has already been commenced in Ampara and Monaragala districts. The inaugural purchasing will be held tomorrow at 3.30 pm at DMP owned store complex, Akkaraipattu in Ampara. The anticipated Maha season harvest is 2.8 Million Metric Tons of which 0.3 Million Metric Ton are to buy the Government to protect both the consumer and the farmer. Facilities have been arranged to store safely the paddy to be purchased. All stores of the Paddy Marketing Board are being modernized with the assistance of the Army. In addition a programme is being implemented to purchase paddy through District Secretaries. The aim of the government is to prevent Paddy/ Rice Mafia from controlling price of rice when shortage of rice is experienced. Steps have also been taken to minimize middle men’s involvement and enhance the involvement of Agriculture Research and Production Assistants with any profit, if available, passing on to their hands. The paddy Marketing Board have the opportunity of purchasing paddy through alternative arrangements in areas where “Kupanisa“ officers are not available. The special feature of Maha Season paddy purchasing is the fully involvement of state machinery and all arrangement have been made to undertake purchasing throughout the island from early next month.
Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage inspected the 15 area eco-friendly Agro Techno Park extending within the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Sports Complex at Diyagama in Homagama. On this occation officers and employees of the park pointed out to the Minister that a valuble resource of the country, a fully pledge model park in the western province had been allowed to be destroyed in the past not taking measures even to maintain it. This park has been established as an integral part of the sport complex. It stands as a model which demonstrates that any of the local cultivation could be made a successful undertaking with the application of organic fertilizer only by providing non contaminated food to both local and foreign participants in sports, improving their mental health, promoting indeginous cultivation whereby creating exemplary country and improving beauty of the international explanade are the objectives of the establishment are the objectives of the establishment of this park. Local yams, upcountry and low country vegetables and fruits and almost all types of grain including Kurakkan, Meneri, gingerly, green gram and maize etc are grown here in the farm of organic cultivations. This park consists of around 150 types of herbal plants. Animal productions such as cattle and goats were also available here in the past. But animal husbandary has come to a standstill now. At present the entire staff of the park consist of two officers, 7 labourers and one watcher. Agriculture Instructor Mr. Gamini Wickramatilaka who being the garden keeper also explained to the Minister that many a problem has been created by this staff curtailment.
The officers of the park requested the Minister to take steps to transfer the ownership of the park to the Dept. of Agriculture as a solution to the issue of ownership of the park. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage agreed to expidite the transfer and promised to arrange a discussion with sports and Youth Affairs Minister Namal Rajapaksa. The Agriculture Minister also agreed to provide provisions and facilities for settlement of ownership of the park. Officer in charge, Gamini Wickramatilake pointed out that bio-gass were produced utilizing residues of the cattleshed and supply energy to part of the Army Camp. An income received so far have been sent to the General Treasury.
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage promised to make arrangements to make use of this park in a productive manner as it uses both traditional agricultural methods and modern technology while undertaking organic farming as well.
Eco friendly park in Diyagama consists of local food crops, indeginous plants, green leaves and local yams and it is our duty to preserve them for future generation. Two green houses have been built within the park. However in the absence of sufficient staff they are remain idle. The Minister instructed the Mr. W.M.W. Weerakoon DG of Agriculture to look in to the matter and take necessary steps accordingly, Mr. Hiran Peris Director of the Communication and Information Technology institution and Dr (Mrs) Windya Basnayake, Deputy Director of Virus Identification Institute were also participated in this observation tour.
Paddy purchasing of Maha Season of 2020/21 will commence at the PMB store complex at Akkaraipattu, Ampara at 3.30 p.m Tomorrow (12.01.2021). It has been planned to buy 0.3 Million Metric Tons of paddy during this season.
This inaugural ceremony will be held with the participation of Hon. Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Hon. Shashindra Rajapaksa, State Minister of Paddy and Grain, Organic food, vegetables, fruits, chillies, onion and potato promotion, Seed production and Advance Technology Agriculture. Therefore you are kindly requested to make arrangements to ensure the participation of media group or regional reporter of you esteem media institution to cover this national event and extend support by giving necessary publicity aimed educating the farmer community throughout the island.
This Media Programme will be held at 11.30 a.m on 07.01.2021 at the Ministry of Agriculture with the participation of MahindanandaAluthgamage,, Minister of Agriculture, Shasheendra Rajapaksa, State Minister of