Sri Lanka: Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed relevant authorities to provide urea fertilizer at the old price despite a price hike in the international market.
The price of a metric ton of urea fertilizer exceeds US$ 370 (Rs. 62,803) in the global market and consequently, the price of chemical fertilizers is rising rapidly.
A meeting to discuss the measures that need to be taken to provide fertilizer subsidy without any delay or shortage for the farmers for the 2018 Maha season was held recently under the patronage of Minister Amaraweera with the participation of officials from the National Fertilizer Secretariat, Commercial Fertilizer Company and Ceylon Fertilizer Company.
During the meeting, Minister Amarawera instructed the National Fertilizer Secretariat to take necessary measures to continue the fertilizer subsidy given to farmers in Sri Lanka despite the increase in the price of urea fertilizer in the global market.
According to that, a 50kg urea fertilizer bag will be given to paddy farmers for Rs. 500 and at a price of Rs 1,500 for other crops.
The government now purchases a 50kg urea fertilizer bag for Rs. 3,500, offering it at subsidized prices of Rs. 3,000 for paddy cultivation and Rs. 2,000 for other crops.
The Minister said more paddy fields will be cultivated in the Maha season than in the Yala season and instructed officials to provide opportunity for the farmers to purchase fertiliser without any inconvenience.
Minister Amaraweera also instructed officials to implement a mechanism to maintain coordination between agrarian organisations and agrarian service centres on daily fertilizer requirements.
According to the National Fertilizer Secretariat sources, around 800,000 hectares of paddy lands will be cultivated in the Maha season this year. This would require 265,000 metric tons of urea, 65,000 metric tons Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and 75,000 metric tons of Muriate of Potash (MOP).