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Subsidy for farmers using chemical fertiliser 

  • Required to submit bills to Agrarian Development Department 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

Although the Government had earlier decided to provide subsidies only to farmers who use organic fertilisers under the Government’s programme towards establishing green agriculture, the Agriculture Ministry stated yesterday (4) that it would provide some subsidies for farmers who use chemical fertilisers too.

In a media statement issued in this regard, Agriculture Ministry Secretary D.M.L.D. Bandaranayake said: “Under the current Government’s agriculture policy, only organic fertilisers were so far provided on a fully subsidised basis. However, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa paid close attention to the demands of the farming community, it was decided to provide a subsidy for the chemical fertilisers purchased by the farmers.”

Accordingly, the subsidy is planned to be paid after the farmers submit the relevant bills for the purchase of chemical fertilisers for their cultivations to the Agrarian Development Department in the relevant area, the statement read.

A proposal to ban the use and importation of chemical fertiliser, pesticides, and herbicides/weedicides was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers by President Rajapaksa and the same was granted approval, following which the relevant gazette notification was issued in May, 2021.

However, throughout the past few months, farmers in several areas were charging that there is a serious shortage of fertiliser for their cultivations and a number of protests have also been organised by farmers’ organisations and various parties demanding that the Government provide a solution to the fertiliser shortage. In addition, several protests were organised by farmers in the recent past that crop damages, particularly those caused to paddy cultivations due to the fertiliser issue, be compensated.