No change in green agriculture policy – President

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stressed yesterday that the country’s agriculture policy will be based on a green agriculture system that focuses on the sole use of organic fertilizers.

President Rajapaksa said that the Government will only distribute organic fertilizer and provide subsidies only for organic farming. The farmers should be properly educated. It is also vital to identify the chemical fertilizer mafia that exists when implementing this. The President emphasized that the commitment of the officials was essential to make this policy victorious.

The President made this observation at a special discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning (22) regarding the cultivation of the Maha Season and the supply of organic fertilizer.

The President inquired from officials at the district level about the cultivation of paddy and other crops in all parts of the country. The heavy rains that prevailed have reduced the yield of many crops including vegetables. Moreover, the delay in the distribution of organic manure  affected the cultivation activities during the Maha Season. However, at district level, cultivation activities have commenced in nearly 70% of the total agricultural lands, the officials said.

The President pointed out that the reason behind farmers organizing protests and delaying cultivation was that they have not been properly educated. The President expressed his displeasure to the officials for not accurately educating the farmers. The President emphasized that the officials should work to find answers on behalf of the agitating farmers in accordance with the green agriculture policy and added that there is no obstacle for the officials who do not agree with the Government policy to leave.

The President also said that the support of a team that works clearly according to their conscience is needed for the success of this programme.

Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Governors Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Goonetileke and Anuradha Yahampath, Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Heads of the Ministry of Agriculture and its affiliated line agencies and organic fertilizer manufacturers were also present.