The paddy farmers have been thoroughly inconvenienced as the fertilizer subsidy due to them has not been received yet and about 1000 farmer associations have joined forces to carry out campaigns against not making available the subsidy in time states the National Organizer of All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratna.
The representatives of farmer associations complain that despite government promising the fertilizer subsidy would be banked within 14 days, it has not been fulfilled yet. They say 90% of the lands that have been cultivated have not been fertilized as they have not received the subsidy yet. In many areas paddy have been planted 45 days ago and within this period it was necessary to apply fertilizer thrice to the fields. Some farmers have fertilized their fields after pawning their jewellery but many have not been able to fertilize their fields. As a result the harvest would be reduced by 50% points out the Secretary of Giruwapaththuwa United Farmers Alliance Mr. Sarath Yapa.
All Ceylon farmers Federation states the whole farmer community has been distressed due to not receiving the subsidy and points out that the government was, from the beginning of the scheme, was told that it was an unsuccessful affair. The National Organizer of the Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratna says the government arbitrarily decided to do away with the existing scheme of distributing fertilizer as the subsidy and said farmers would be given money instead. The scheme failed from the day it was started.
Despite 45 days have gone by since the paddy season started this year, the money for the fertilizer subsidy has not been banked and farmers carried out agitations against the delay in paying them. Mr. Karunaratna said 1000 farmers’ associations throughout the country have joined together and if the money is not received before the 21st they would take action against the government.