Sooriyawewa paddy, banana cultivations affected  

  • Farmers bemoan shortages of seeds, fuel, fertiliser, and storage, as well as human-elephant conflict

BY Dinitha Rathnayake 

Paddy and banana cultivations in Sooriyawewa are heavily affected by the current crisis, area farmers claimed.

Speaking to The Morning, farmers of Sooriyawewa said that the shortages of seeds, fuel, and fertiliser, and issues related to the human-elephant conflict are making their daily lives miserable.

According to the farmers, they are unable to continue their farming with these shortages and warned that they will not be able to provide food for the country if the shortages continue.

“How are we supposed to continue our farming without land preparation? This refers to the procedure of arranging the cultivation area, in the best possible condition for paddy cultivation, ensuring that the land is levelled and hydrated, matching the needs and requirements of the paddy seeds planted. Preparation is done via machinery or by water buffaloes. Most of the tractors used for land preparation are now in fuel queues,” they lamented.

Farmers also added that they have a shortage of vegetable seeds for their next season and claimed that the issue is not addressed by the Ministry of Agriculture. 

“All officers representing the ministry only advise us to use chemical fertilisers and they don’t have any alternative or a system which encourages organic fertilisers. Seeds are imported from countries like Malaysia. It is so sad that a country like Sri Lanka imports seeds from other countries.”

Farmers of Sooriyawewa also said that there is not enough storage facility for the crops that they grow.

The farmers all stated that the water situation is their main concern, in particular for the paddy farmers, since paddy cultivation requires a lot of water, while pests and diseases are the main concerns for banana farmers.