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    Drought Relief for Sugar Farmers in the Moneragala District

    July 17, 2014

    The Minister of the Sugar Industry Development Lakshman Senevirathna  stated that 75 million rupees has been allocated as drought relief to sugar farmers in the Moneragala district.

    This was revealed at a conference held in the Uva-Paranagama Provincial Secretariat to provide the know-how on the initiation of the new sugar planting project to Public Officers.  Among the participants were Provincial Secretaries, Public Officers, Grama Niladari and Samurdhi Officers, Agriculture Research Officers and Officers connected to research in the Sugar Industry.

    The Minister added “The harvest of the Pelwatte Industry in 2013 was 332,635 Metric Tons.  We expected a harvest of 400,000 M/Tons in 2014, but it was not possible due to severe drought that prevailed in the Moneragala District.  We started work expecting to crush 300,000 M/Tons of sugar cane.  It became difficult to obtain even 200,000 M/Tons.  Nature changes our plans and averting such disasters is not possible.  However it is our duty to safeguard the farmers and it is not right that we abandon them.  We have arranged to provide 75 million rupees in two stages as relief to the farmers.  The farmers will be paid on the basis of the number of hectares under cultivation.”

    “We arranged to pay the farmers for Maha Season at Rs.5000/-hectare for ratoons, Rs.12,000/- per hectare for plants and Rs.18,000/- per hectare for seed,  ratoon and plant cultivation.  These relief payments need not be repaid”, Minister further said.

    “Under the second stage, I have also instructed the Sugar Corporation to increase the incentive allowance from Rs.200/- to Rs.500/-.  This relief scheme is operative to be reimbursed during the next harvest.

    “The President gave our Ministry Rs.130,000/- hectares of land for the use by our farmers which is a great success.  During the last year, the Pelwatte and Sevanagala Sugar Factories were able to obtain a net profit of Rs.1486 million.  For the first time in history we were able to pay Rs.297 million as incentive allowances which was presented to farmers by the President.  It is very encouraging and a great pleasure to see you all assembled here.  We give you seed, plants and fertilizer and ask you to cultivate.  Today farmers do not commit suicide, even so we will not allow that.  The aim of the government  is to improve the village economy”, the Minister further added.(KH/SI)



















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