(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has emphasized the need to create a market where farmers get higher prices for their products while consumers get relief prices.
The President points out that such a market can be started by creating a background that would let farmers in all parts of the island have the facility to sell their produce directly to the consumer without the involvement of intermediaries.
The President made this observation at a discussion held with the Cost of Living Committee at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday afternoon (14).
The President and the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa focused on formalizing the measures to be taken to ensure continuous supply of essential consumer goods to all areas without any shortage.
The President yesterday lifted the import duty on essential commodities such as dhal, canned fish, onion and sugar, taking into account the current living conditions and the difficulties associated with COVID-19.
The President instructed to take immediate steps to cultivate coconut in the paddy fields which have been left fallow. The government has started cultivating coconuts in 50,000 hectares of new land.
Basil Rajapaksa, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, said that a formal program is being formulated to meet the local demand for vegetables, fruits and eggs.
The daily consumption requirement of a family has been calculated with the mediation of the Ministry of Health. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa said that as a step to uplift the low income earners, it is planned to grow vegetables and fruits at home and to meet the demand for eggs through domestic poultry farming.
The officials pointed out that this year’s Yala and Maha seasons have seen a higher paddy harvest compared to last year. The President explained the need to formulate a system for purchasing paddy in the future.
It was also stated that a special program has been planned in collaboration with the Railway Department to transport fruits, vegetables and fertilizers by train.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Douglas Devananda, State Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Arundika Fernando, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, members of the Cost of Living Committee including Secretaries to Cabinet and State Ministries were present at the discussion.