Director General of the Department of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha de Silva refuted allegations largely fuelled by the Opposition that there shall be an acute shortage of meals within the nation by April as a result of chemical fertiliser ban by the Government.
Citing official statistics, he stated the most important rice mill house owners had paddy shares to final for one yr, and vegetable farmers may have entry to chemical fertiliser since President Gotabaya Rajapaksa permitted chemical fertiliser for sure recognized crops following knowledgeable recommendation.
He stated the nation wanted 200,000 tons of rice per 30 days. Therefore, the annual demand for rice is 2.4 million tons. “We meet this requirement by cultivating 500,000 hectares in Yala and 800,000 hectares in the Maha season.”
Due to rainfall and different nature associated components, within the Wet Zone, the rice yield is between 3-4 tons per hectare however within the granary districts within the Dry Zone reminiscent of Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Mannar districts it goes as much as six tons per hectare. The nationwide common yield for paddy, therefore, is about 4.37 tons per hectare. “We cultivated the full 500,000 hectares during the last Yala season and we did not have any issue with fertiliser, rainfall or any other external factor, thus the farmers collected the usual harvest,” Dr. De Silva stated including, due to this fact, “The last Yala season produced rice to feed the entire population for six months. We got the Yala harvest from February to March.”
He stated 795,000 hectares are being cultivated at current for the Maha season and added that the standard harvest might not be acquired this season, as a result of fertiliser problem.
However, he stated, it’s not going to be drastically low as predicted by sure folks. The 25 District Agriculture Directors, Deputy Commissioners of Agrarian Development and different officers have been summoned to Colombo just lately to overview the scenario with the Maha season.
He stated, “There has not been a scientific calculation of the anticipated yield but according to the data produced by the district officials, we expect the loss to be below 25 percent.”
“That means we will get 2.9 -3 tons of paddy per hectare, enough rice to feed the population for six months,” the Director General of Agriculture Department stated. Besides, the rice mill house owners use six- month-outdated paddy, not the most recent yield, so the shares of rice are of their warehouses.
He stated the President permitted the usage of chemical fertiliser for vegetable cultivations, therefore the vegetable farmers won’t have any points sooner or later.
“We don’t predict an acute shortage as claimed by groups with vested interests. The food items imported to the country will be in short supply due to the current dollar crisis faced by the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There will not be a shortage of crops cultivated within the country, I can vouch for that,” Dr. De Silva added.