Manampitiya Nimal Jayaratne –
Farmers in the Aralaganwila 500 and 503 area in the Mahaweli B Zone are predicting that not even one fifth of the paddy harvest cultivated using organic fertilizer under the Maduruoya irrigation in this season.
Around 1000 farming families in Zone 503 of the Mahaweli B Zone have cultivated 2500 acres of paddy land during the Maha season this year. They point out that the plant crop in all those farms has become barren and the stalks have not been able to see any growth.
About 2500 farming families have cultivated paddy under the Pimburaththewa Reservoir this Maha season and the growth of seedlings in those paddy lands has also come to a complete standstill, said Sarath Rajapaksa, former Business Committee Secretary of the Mahaweli C Zone.
“I harvested five thousand kilos of paddy from an acre of paddy in other seasons. I will not be able to get even one thousand kilos this season. With two and a half acres left to eat at home, there is nothing left to sell.”the farmer told us.
Accordingly, the farmers say that if the government fails to pay them compensation, they will have to abandon paddy cultivation completely during the next Yala season.
Farmers in the Polonnaruwa district point out that the paddy fields have been severely affected by the recent rains and are being destroyed.
The farmers who used to cultivate paddy in Maduruoya and Pimburaththewa reservoirs allege that only Rs. 1000 has been given to the farmers out of the Rs.7500.
When we inquired about this from the Agrarian Services Center in Aralaganwila, an official said that the money had been credited to the bank accounts provided by the farmers and that the government had made arrangements to compensate the farmers who cultivate paddy using organic fertilizer in case of any loss.