Farmers island-wide have commenced a series of continuous protests demanding that the Government pay compensation for farmlands including paddy lands left idle and their crops that were destroyed due to the non-provision of water during the last season.
Protests and marches are expected to commence from Anuradhapura and Embilipitiya.
The All Ceylon Peasants Federation also demanded that the Government make good on the payments pertaining to the fertilizer subsidy, which the majority of farmers hadn’t received yet.
While calling for the destruction of stocks of paddy and rice unfit for human consumption, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) North Western Provincial Councillor and the National Organizer of the Federation, Namal Karunaratne said that there was no requirement to import rice at all as there were sufficient stocks of paddy till the end of January 2018.
He said that the move to import was a major racket orchestrated and controlled by large scale rice millers in the country.
“There are existing stocks which will last until August in terms of the country’s requirement. The evidence is found in the Auditor General’s special report given to the Committee on Public Enterprises,” Karunaratne said.
He said that at present there are 1.4 million to 1.6 million metric tonnes of paddy in stocks. “The consumer requirement per month is 200,000 metric tonnes. This means that the present stock will last for eight months,” Karunaratne pointed out.