Amaraweera seeks Cabinet approval

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Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera will submit a proposal to Cabinet requesting permission to import maize and soya for animal feed under the open account system.

“In view of the present economic crisis, there is a problematic situation in the market to buy enough soya and maize for the production of animal feed.Because of this, farmers and businessmen involved in the production of liquid milk, poultry meat, and eggs are in great difficulty.The animal production capacities required to improve the nutritional conditions of the people have also decreased,” he said.

He added, according to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture, liquid milk production in 2022 has decreased by 19.8 percent, chicken production by 12.1 percent, and egg production by 34.9 percent in the last two quarters of this year.

“During last year’s Maha Season, farmers were not given chemical fertiliser for cultivation, so the yield of maize in that season was reduced to 20 per cent,” he said.

The Department of Animal Production and Health has approved the importation of 134,150 MT of maize in the first quarter of this year and 70,250 MT in the second quarter, he said, adding however that in view of the present shortage of foreign exchange, there has been some pressure on such imports.

“Therefore, a Cabinet paper will be submitted requesting permission for the import of maize and soya under the open account system,” he said, adding that a request to include maize and soya in the list of importable items included in the special gazette number 2285/19 will also be made. (FT)