(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –By cultivating what can be grown in the country, the money going to the farmers abroad will be diverted to the hands of our farmers, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said.
In order to uplift the agricultural sector, the Government has given priority to provide water, technical knowledge and solving land issues of the farming community. A large sum of money has been allocated from 2021 budget for this purpose.
More than 800 projects planned utilizing foreign aid and local grants have not yet been completed. President is of the view that all these projects should be completed expeditiously and committed to fulfill aspirations of the people.
President Rajapaksa made these comments during a special program held at the Temple Trees today (7) to apprise the government officials on the National Programme of “Back to the Village with Work” through the initiative of “Discussion with the Village”.
President pointed out the need for a sustainable mechanism to uplift the living standards of rural population which represents 75% of the total. The present generation is moving away from agricultural activities due to inherent problems and difficulties that had to be faced by the farming community.
President Rajapaksa emphasized that officials should focus more on solving issues through methods such as ensuring higher prices for the harvests, technical knowledge, water management, local seed production, marketing and transportation facilities and encourage farmers to engage in organic agriculture.
It is important to use people-centered approaches in resolving issues prevailing in rural areas rather than strictly adhering to rules and regulations. Therefore, the President pointed out that it is the duty and responsibility of the officials to go to the villages and identify the problems faced by the people and work to find solutions for those issues, not confining themselves to respective offices.
This year’s budget is aimed at improving the living standards of rural people who are engaged in farming, fishing and other industries, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his address. He stated that the assistance of foreign experts or consultants is not required to implement the plans in this regard and that it is the responsibility of government officials to implement those strategies at grassroots level for the benefit of the rural people.
The Prime Minister commended the sacrifices made by both the public and private sectors to make a success of the changed lifestyle with the coronavirus pandemic.
With the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation, a tendency has emerged to use digital technology in a number of fields, including school education to service needs. It revealed the ability of local officials to embrace and work on something new at any moment. Considering the current situation, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out the need to integrate modern technology with state institutions speedily.
The Prime Minister said that on every occasion that a government led by them came into power, it effectively carry forward the abandoned development as well as the promotion of economic growth of the country. He also stated that he expects the support of the public servants to build the country in the future too, as in the past at every occasion.
The objective of today’s program was to discuss the issues that arise in the implementation of projects and programs and how to resolve them.
Basil Rajapaksa, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation, said in response to questions raised by the people’s representatives that the government has taken a number of steps to protect crops from wild elephants and other animals.
Mr. Rajapaksa also requested to submit proposals compiled at rural level to address such issues, to the government.
Cabinet and State Ministers, Governors, District and Divisional Secretaries, Planning Service officials, Accountants and many other government officials were present on the occasion.