Dec 28, 2020 (LBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa directed the subject Minister and the officials to intervene to stop the irregularities perpetrated in purchase of crops including turmeric and maize from farmers.
Local farmers have successfully expanded the cultivation of turmeric and maize. Harvesting in the next season is nearing. President emphasized that farmers should receive a fair price for their produce. The Government should intervene to stop irregularities that take place in the stockpiling by traders, President pointed out.
President also highlighted the need for a mechanism to collect quality seeds for the 2021 and 2022 Maha seasons. He has given orders to destroy stocks of turmeric illegally imported by crooked businessmen.
The Director General of Customs and the Inspector General of Police have been instructed to strictly enforce the law against unscrupulous businessmen.
The Commissioner of Excise was directed to issue a gazette notification banning the use of maize for the production of alcohol and ethanol.
President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to ensure a wider market for turmeric, maize as well as cowpea, undu, green gram, sesame and sorghum, instead of granting loan facilities to grain collectors.
Banks were instructed to identify entrepreneurs and maintain inventory information commensurate with the loan amount. President Rajapaksa also said that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka should focus scrutinizing its activities on providing development financing.
All District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, Commissioners of Agrarian Services and all field officers should successfully purchase agricultural produce in order to strengthen the farming community. The President also instructed the officials to be vigilant to prevent damage caused by insects such as Army Worm caterpillars (‘Sena’).