Measures will be taken to establish a Fertilizer Distribution Centre and a Fertilizer Warehouse for all 554 Agrarian Service Centres established island wide.
This programme will be implemented so as to streamline the current methodology of distributing fertilizer and to ensure that adequate amounts of fertilizer are supplied to farmers at the guaranteed price of the government, says the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
The ultimate target of this programme is to convert all the Agrarian Service Centers of the island into centers where farmers are able to fulfill all their needs under one roof.
The instructions in this respect were given at a discussion held at the Ministry of Finance and Planning chaired by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury with the participation of officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives of the Government Owned Fertilizer Companies.
Approximately, 750,000 metric tons of fertilizers are imported to Sri Lanka per year and over Rs. 50 billion is expended for the said purpose. The fertilizer subsidy granted by the government has resulted in motivating the farmers into farming and to encouraging them to generate higher income through farming.
A proper methodology ought to be followed in using fertilizer as application of chemical fertilizer upto a certain extent is essential in order to obtain the expected harvest from a crop. Dr. P.B. Jayasudera instructed the relevant officers to increase the government contribution in the distribution of fertilizer in the local market up to 40% in order to ensure that fertilizer subsidy is granted to farmers without a shortage.
Fertilizer subsidy programme is being continued by the Government for 09 years and it has already completed the payment of Rs. 6,600 billion which was due to the private sector for the implementation of fertilizer subsidy programme. Government has taken all the necessary steps to supply a 50 kg bag of fertilizer at price of Rs. 350/- for paddy cultivation and to supply the same at a price of Rs. 1250/- for all other crops without a shortage in the future too.