Banana farmers in dire straits

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Banana growers in Thambuththegama said they have piled up their banana harvests at the Thambuththegama Economic Centre because traders are not coming to buy them.

According to the farmers, they have been cultivating bananas for several months at great expense and have fallen head over heels in debt. Farmers claim that despite the fact that labourers cut bananas and transport them to the Thambuththegama Economic Centre after waiting in fuel lines for several days, vendors do not come to buy the bananas due to rising fuel prices and fuel shortages.

Farmers claim that a Kilogramme of Seeni Kesel should be sold at Rs 30, Ambul Kesel Rs 25, and Kolikuttu at least Rs 70 for them to cover costs. They also point out that there are no authorities or officials to investigate the fate of these plantations, which have been mortgaged to banks. Finally, the farmers claim that they will be forced to drink poison with their wives and children.

They were speaking to Sunil Seneviratne, President of the Thambuththegama Economic Centre Traders Association.

Due to the day-to-day uncertainty in the country, traders do not want to take bananas because bananas cannot be sold on a daily basis.

By K. M. Chandika – Rajanganaya