President orders ban on use of maize to produce alcohol

Gotabaya Rajapaksa - President of Sri Lanka

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered the Excise Commissioner to issue a gazette prohibiting the use of maize for the production of liquor and ethanol.

The President also instructed the subject state minister and relevant officials to intervene to stop irregularities in the purchase of crops from farmers including turmeric and maize.

He emphasized that local farmers have successfully expanded the cultivation of turmeric and maize and that next season harvest is nearing. Farmers should get a fair price, the President stressed.

He said that the government should fully intervene to stop irregularities in the stockpiling of traders.

The President has ordered to destroy turmeric stocks illegally imported to the country by errant traders, the Director-General of Customs and the Inspector General of Police were ordered to institute strict action against such traders.

The President also emphasized the need to ensure a expand the market for wholesalers gathering grain stocks such as turmeric, maize, black-eyed pea, Orid (Undu), mung bean, sesame and Finger Millet (kurahan), instead of giving loans.

President Rajapaksa also instructed officials to be alert to prevent crops from being harmed by pest such as the Fall Armyworm, commonly known in the country as the ‘Sena caterpillar’.