FAO to provide 375,000 farmers with urea

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has agreed to provide 375,000 50 kg bags urea fertiliser, to low-income farming families in Sri Lanka for paddy cultivation, free of charge.

This stock of urea fertiliser is to be given to 375,000 farmers who have less than one acre paddy land at 50 kg per farmer.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera agreed to provide urea fertiliser for the Maha season as per a discussion held with officials of FAO. Amaraweera noted that 1,000 MT of urea fetiliser will be received as the first stock within the next two weeks.

 Further, during a discussion held between Amaraweera and  owners of small, medium and large scale rice mills, regarding the purchase of paddy in the Yala season and cultivation activities in the next Maha season, rice mill owners said the paddy yield in the Yala season will exceed the expected level.

Amaraweera noted that while the initial plan was to cultivate 275,000 hectares of paddy land this year, due to the government’s decision to provide urea fertiliser, the amount of paddy land cultivated has increased to 512,000 hectares.

 Further, FAO has decided to provide subsidies to 1.4 million families at the rate of Rs 18,000 per family to cultivate green gram with the aim of increasing the nutrition of low-income families headed by women.

(FT)