Oct 24, 2014 (LBO) â€“ Sri Lanka paddy farmers to get seed paddy free of charge in the budget 2015, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, in his capacity as the Finance Minister. He said seed paddy for the 2014/2015 Maha Season will be provided free of charge to the farmers.
Added to that he said the current fertilizer subsidy will be continued while ensuring minimum 40 rupees subsidy per paddy kilogram.
Sri Lanka’s rural economy, low on growth and high on labor relies heavily on agriculture to generate income.
About 870000 hectares of paddy are cultivated during the Yala and Maha seasons, a media report said. Sri Lanka has 647716 number of farmer families and has 1.8 million of farmers out of which 30 percent are women.
The Government has been subsidizing farmers for the past nine years. This subsidy has been given continuously for 18 seasons.
Paddy cultivators are each provided with 50 kilos of fertilizer at the subsidized price of 350 rupees for which the government spends 3415. rupees.
Approximately one million paddy cultivators are entitled to the fertilizer subsidy per season during which 312746 metric tons of fertilizer are issued to farmers.
The area cultivated with this subsidy is 1896224 hectares of paddy. Unused paddy land is 41075 hectares.