Rs. 20 billion annually to subsidise fertiliser

By Skandha Gunasekara

The Government is to incur a cost of Rs. 20 billion annually to fully subsidise fertiliser supplies for paddy farmers, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. National Fertiliser Secretariat Director Mahesh Gammanpila told The Sunday Morning that the subsidy begins from the Yala Season.

“The Government will give a 100% subsidy for fertiliser for paddy farmers. This will be provided until further notice,” he said. He noted that other farmers would also receive a partial fertiliser subsidy.

“Farmers of other crops will also get the fertiliser subsidised at a low rate of Rs. 1,500 per a 50 kilogramme bag. Here, the Government is bearing about Rs. 2,500,” Gammanpila said. He said the key reason for paddy farmers to receive the subsidy was also part of the initiative to substitute organic fertiliser with chemical fertiliser.

“We will be providing organic fertiliser as part of the subsidy programme, but at the same time, we don’t have large quantities of this valuable organic fertiliser, so chemical fertiliser would also be given.”