The All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation alleges that the farmers have suffered greatly due to the lack of a stringent program to provide necessary fuel for agricultural activities.
National Organizer of the Federation Namal Karunaratne said that it is essential to provide adequate fuel for the machinery used for agricultural activities.
Speaking to media in Dambulla, Namal Karunaratne said if fuel is not provided stringently, he will stage a protest with farmers.
He said at present, despite the announcement by the Minister of Energy no mechanism is in place to provide sufficient fuel to farmers. Karunaratne noted paddy had been cultivated on 400,000 hectares of land and harvesting should begin shortly. He said due to the recent rains, crops have already damaged.
Namal Karunaratne said paddy harvesting is carried out only during a two to three-week period and they require around 15,000MT of fuel.
He said the government without making announcements should take necessary steps immediately to ensure fuel is given to machinery used by farmers.
On a separate note, Namal Karunaratne said farmers are also inconvenienced due to the lack of fertiliser.
He said the government failed to provide fertiliser to paddy farmers during the cultivation period but now has commenced it.
Namal Karunaratne said although vegetable farmers require fertiliser, they are not receiving them.
He also noted that although the government received fertiliser stocks free of charge, authorities are selling a kilogram of fertiliser for Rs. 200.
He said the government has not right to sell them and demanded the stocks be given to farmers free of charge.