Parliamentarian Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera has warned of a severe food shortage in future.
Speaking in Parliament Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera requested Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to inform the House regarding plans formulated by the government to face such a situation.
Responding to the Thera, Minister Aluthgamage said 1.3 million hectares of paddy was cultivated during the Yala and Maha seasons.
The Minister said a total of 5.6 million MT of paddy would have been produced with the use of chemical fertiliser, with the Yala season producing 500,000 MT of paddy and 800,000 MT of paddy during the Maha season.
He said when transforming paddy in to rice, a total of 3.6 million MT of rice would have been produced claiming the national requirement is only 2.4 million MT of rice.
He added an excess of 1 million MT of rice produced with chemical fertiliser is expected with usual consumption.
Minister Aluthgamage said only a deficit of 25 percent of produce was reported according to data collected through research conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics and Ministry of Agriculture.
He claimed therefore there will be no concerns over food security with the deficit.
The Minister also claimed he will provide a report by tomorrow if Rathana Thera is able to provide details of any irregularities in the process.
Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said there are serious concerns over food security at present, despite various claims made by individuals.
Speaking in Parliament today, the Opposition Leader claimed two families from the Mannar and Jaffna Districts fled to India as they are unable to live in the country.
He said observers have warned that the situation will worsen in future.
MP Premadasa added the concerns raised by Ven. Rathana Thera are fair and just and called on relevant government officials to provide solutions.
In response, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the government acknowledges that the public is facing severe burdens.
Minister Aluthgamage said prices of goods have increased adding however there is no need to raise concerns over food security as sufficient stocks of paddy are at hand.
The Leader of the Opposition meanwhile said the prices of a kilogram of Nadu rice, gas and milk powder have increased adding it is difficult for the public to purchase food at reasonable rates.
Minister Aluthgamage claimed the prevalent crisis is not unique to Sri Lanka adding the crisis situation needs to be acknowledged.
On a separate note Minister Aluthgamage claimed opposition MP Dr. Harsha de Silva will cross over to the government to assist in the prevailing crisis.
Responding to the statement, MP de Silva said not only him but the entire SJB will be seated in the government in the near future.
The Opposition Leader said the public will reach the right decision of handing over the country to a SJB-led government to resolve prevailing issues.