(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Small Holder Agri-Business Partnership Program (SAPP), which is a project implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture with foreign funding has decided to provide an aid of 120,000 rupees per acre to the farmers who grow maize in the Yala Season, the first cropping season of the year.
The aid will be given as a subsidy to buy chemical fertilizers, land preparation and the necessary maize seeds.
The decision was taken at a discussion held yesterday (18) afternoon at the Ministry of Agriculture with the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera and the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture regarding the organization of agricultural activities in the 2023 Yala season.
The Minister who participated in the meeting discussed encouraging farmers to cultivate inter-crops such as maize, sesame, millet, green gram, cowpeas, black gram and chilies in addition to paddy cultivation in the Yala season.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Agriculture has already prepared all arrangements to cultivate 30,000 hectares of maize in the 2023 Yala season.
The director of the Small Holder Agri-Business Partnership Program, Dr. Yasantha Mapatuna, informed the minister that under the Program, arrangements have been made to provide assistance of 120,000 rupees per acre to the farmers growing maize.
Maize has been planted in 68,000 hectares this season. It is expected to yield about 280,000 metric tons of maize. Agriculture departments emphasized that despite the threat of the fall army caterpillar, it is possible to get this harvest.
Also, in other seasons, maize has been cultivated as little as 10,000 hectares. But this time, it has been decided to increase the amount by three times, the agriculture department also emphasized.
However, since the government has banned the importation of mung beans (green gram), it was proposed to give aid also to the farmers who grow mung beans.