No loan for rice imports
By Thameenah Razeek
Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, on Tuesday (19), said that no discussion was initiated about importing rice from Myanmar on a loan and that the Government is financially secure to buy rice. He said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy is to make the country self-sufficient in rice with the goal of providing a fair price for local farmers. Pathirana added that when the Government provides benefits to farmers by the systematic increase in the price of paddy because of external conditions beyond the Government’s control, consumers could be affected.
Pathirana also said that the Government is concerned about the fertiliser issue and has taken steps to launch an organic agricultural project in order to protect the health of the citizenry. “It has been planned to import and distribute small quantities of fertiliser because there was a scarcity due to organic fertiliser production being in its early phase. We asked farmers engaged in tea cultivation, paddy cultivation and all other cultivations to have a faith in the Government,” he said.