(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – With the assistance provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the government has decided to give a subsidy of 15,000 rupees (42 dollars) per family to low-income rice farming families in 07 districts of the country for their livelihood development.
Accordingly, this allowance will be given to farming families living in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Monaragala and Batticaloa whose monthly income is less than 41,500 rupees, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says.
As a result of the discussions conducted by the Department of Agricultural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, USAID has instructed to give this amount to the low-income farming families in those districts.
The Commissioner General of the Department of Agricultural Development H. L. Abeyratne said that this amount will be given in two installments in the month of January.
Also, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has arranged to give an amount of 08 billion rupees to 1.2 million farming families in the island.
An amount of 10,000 to 20,000 rupees will be given to the farmer families and under the first phase, arrangements have been made to credit 04 billion rupees to the respective farmers’ accounts before the 31st of this month. Department of Agricultural Development says that amount also will be credited to the farmers’’ accounts in January.
Under the ADB assistance, farmers who cultivate up to 01 hectare will be given an amount of 10,000 rupees, and farmers who cultivate up to 02 hectares will be given an amount of 20,000 rupees.
The Minister said none of the allowances will be recovered from the farmers and all these international aids were given as free grants to the farmers of the country.
Minister Amaraweera also emphasized that this amount of relief has never been given to the farmers in any other season.
Meanwhile, arrangements have been made to provide one bag of urea fertilizer free of charge to every farmer who cultivates less than half an acre in the next Yala season.
The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have contributed to providing the fertilizer.