Sri Lanka drought hit farmers get free seed paddy

Dec 06, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s rice farmers who have been hit by a recent drought will be given 371 million rupees worth of seed paddy by tax payers, enough to plant 58,000 hectares of land, the finance ministry said. The state has given land to farmers, built infrastructure pumping vast volumes of money, gives annual fertilizer subsidies at tax payer expenses and helped hungry tax payers be overcharged by farmers with guaranteed price schemes and import restrictions on food.

The Treasury will give 371.2 million rupees which will buy 291,657 bushels of seed paddy to farmers who saw their crops destroyed by a drought during the ‘Yala’ minor cultivation season.

The finance ministry said 58,319 hectares of land could be cultivated with the grant, which could bring 262,435 metric tonnes of paddy worth 8,398 million rupees.

Kurunegala will get 115,645 bushels of seed paddy (for 23,129 hectares), Puttalam 11,330 bushels (2,266 ha), Anuradhapura (including Mahaweli H division) 84,865 bushels (16,961 ha), Polonnaruwa 76,650 bushels (15,130 ha), Matale 2,132 bushels (426 has), Vavuniya 2,035 (407 ha).

In a budget for 2013 the finance ministry has said a crop insurance scheme would be designed. Agriculture is