President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made a sudden visit to the Agrarian Development Department located at Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 07, which belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture and was inspected this morning (21).
The mission of the Department of Agrarian Development with the vision of “Sustainable Development of All Agricultural Lands in Agrarian Society” is to “formulate and maintain an institutional, supportive, legal and management service in a timely manner so as to obtain optimal productivity from agricultural lands”.
The purpose of the President’s observation was to ascertain whether those objectives were being pursued properly. This is the first time in the decades-long history of the department that a head of state has visited.
The President oversaw the Agrarian Review Board, Agrarian Banking, Administration, Accounting, Development, Legal, Corporate Development (Services), Effective Marketing and Engineering Water Management. Looked up.
Green agriculture and non-toxic food production are the policy of the government. The President pointed out that the distribution, use and yield of organic fertilizer during the Maha season should be investigated and preparations for the Yala season should be made to avoid shortcomings.
34 state and private companies were given the opportunity to produce organic fertilizer. We need to look at the yield and success of organic fertilizers in each institution. It was decided to encourage companies that have made high progress and increase their production. The President also emphasized the need to impart technical knowledge to agricultural research officers to educate farmers in the coming seasons.
During the last two years, the barren paddy cultivation program has been able to cultivate all barren paddy fields in nine districts including Anuradhapura, Hambantota, Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa.
Other barren paddy fields island-wide have also been identified. Most of them belong to Kalutara, Galle and Matara districts. The President instructed that the reasons for their desolation be investigated and steps are taken to cultivate the land with the intervention of the owners and farmers’ organizations.
The President also emphasized that lands that could not be used for paddy cultivation should be used for other crops.
The Department of Agrarian Development accepts deposits and lends to farmers through Agrarian Banks with 559 active branches. Loans ranging from Rs. 200,000 to Rs. The officials pointed out that this would alleviate many of the problems faced by the farmers by taking loans at high-interest rates from other parties. Considering the importance of this, the President instructed to look into the possibility of strengthening the Agrarian Banks and intervening to purchase paddy from farmers at higher prices.
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of State Shashindra Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Cabinet and Secretaries to the Ministries of State were also present.