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The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) warned that the agricultural crop and paddy harvest this season would be an extremely low yielding one while highlighting also that many farmers had yet to receive the fertilizer subsidy cash allowance.

Farmers in Hambantota, Ampara, Moneragala and Kurunegala have also been affected while protests have been conducted by farmers in this regard in Dimbulagala, Mahadamana, Kalukele, Polonnaruwa and Mahiyangana.

JVP North Western Provincial Councilor and the National Organizer of the All Ceylon Peasants Federation, Namal Karunaratne said that crops in over 30,000 acres had been thus destroyed.

Vegetable farmers only cultivate a small area of land due to the high production costs involved, resulting from farming equipment including hand tractors, fertilizer and seeds being expensive and being taxed, he explained.

While it is good that the Government is giving deeds of ownership to the farmers for their lands, by putting in place a restriction of 50 acres in terms of ownership and other aspects, what they are really intending is that the farmers eventually sell the land at which point foreigners and multinational companies will swoop in due to the restrictions on them being lifted, he further remarked.

We will be going to the Supreme Court to get a guaranteed price to be given by the Paddy Marketing Board, he mentioned.

“This is a great injustice to the farmer. The Government has to take the responsibility. They have had to farm without fertilizer. Aside to this they have been adversely affected by both the high temperatures and heavy rain,” he said.
(RLJ)