President of National Agrarian Unity (NAU) Anuradha Tennakoon yesterday (18) said that they cannot be content with the stipulated price set per kilo of paddy by Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera.
Amaraweera announced, during a media briefing, that the Government has set Rs 120 for a kg of Nadu, Rs 125 for Samba and Rs 130 for Keeri Samba.
While addressing media, Tennakoon queried on what grounds the Minister has set the stipulated price for paddy in this way at a time when the production cost of paddy was skyrocketing.
Tennakoon alleged that the farmers who have been severely impacted as a result of prevailing economic crisis would go down the precipice further.
Beginning from cleaning the irrigation canals until harvesting the paddy, a farmer has to incur at least Rs 240,000. Harvesting cost for one acre paddy cultivation is Rs 25,000. If the harvest for one acre is 1,500 kg, according to the price formula the farmer will have to bear a loss of nearly Rs 25,000. In certain places the entire family would have to be engaged in paddy cultivation. Unfortunately the cost of their contribution has been excluded from the aforesaid expenses, according to Tennakoon.
It will cost from Rs 140 to Rs 145 to produce one kg of paddy and the new price of one kg must be at least Rs 150 to protect the farmers who are contributing to fulfill the country’s rice requirement, Tennakoon added.
By Naalir Jamaldeen