(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Fertilizer ship carrying 44,000 metric tons of fertilizer, the first part of 65,000 MT urea fertilizer stock to be provided to Sri Lanka under the Indian loan assistance program Reached Colombo port Saturday (09) at 11.00 am.
The official delivery of the fertilizer stock to Sri Lanka took place Sunday (10) at the Indian High Commissioner’s official residence (India House) in Colombo.
The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay handed over the documents related to the stock of urea fertilizer to the Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and the Additional Secretary Mahesh Gammanpila and the Chairmen of the two government-owned fertilizer companies were also present at the event.
Expressing his views at the occasion, the Minister said that he expresses his gratitude to the Indian government for its decision to provide urea fertilizer at a time when Sri Lanka’s agriculture was facing a crisis.
The Minister said during his short tenure as the Minister of Agriculture, he took steps to solve many problems faced by the farmers. “At the same time, it will be possible to provide urea fertilizer to the farmers, especially in the Yala season. By now, the paddy fields in our country have increased to 505,000 hectares. Also, negotiations with the World Bank have been successful so far to provide the urea fertilizer needed for the Maha season.”
“The farmers had about Rs. 30,000 million unpaid loans to the banks for many years. Steps were taken to write off them all. By this, around one million farmers will be freed from debt.”
Amaraweera also mentioned that this is the last time he will serve as the Minister of Agriculture and that he has decided to resign from the post of Minister.
Speaking at the occasion, Indian High Commissioner Mr. Gopal Bhaglay said the stock of fertilizer was handed over to the Minister of Agriculture for official handing over to the Government of Sri Lanka today.
“This fertilizer is provided under an Indian loan program. We as the Government of India always support our neighboring friend Sri Lanka. The minister also mentioned that it is our hope to continue that cooperation.”
Unloading of the fertilizer stock is currently taking place at Colombo Port and it is scheduled to be completed in ten days.
The Commercial Fertilizer Company will distribute the fertilizer stock to 566 Agrarian Service Centers using 800 trucks. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has provided 125,000 liters of fuel for that.