A tax will be imposed on imported potatoes to protect local farmers

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said the Agriculture Ministry has started a program to discourage the importation of potatoes from foreign countries at the time of local potato harvest with the aim to protect the local potato farmers as well as the local potato cultivation.

Accordingly, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture sent a letter to the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance requesting to impose a tax on imported potatoes instead of banning the import of potatoes.

Every time the local potato crop was harvested, every government imported potatoes, forcing those farmers to abandon local potato cultivation.

The Minister pointed out that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the farmers who grow potatoes in this country by investing a lot of money, but despite sending this letter, the officials of the Ministry of Finance have not taken any steps for it.

The Minister also mentioned that he will take steps to present matters to the President in the Cabinet meeting to be held today (13).

The Minister made these observations while participating in an event held yesterday in Boralanda area of Welimada to harvest seed potato crops produced under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Agriculture Sector Modernization Project.

Under the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project, the target is to raise production of seed potatoes in Sri Lanka to 09 million potatoes.

At present, seed potatoes are cultivated in about 100 acres in the Boralanda area. The minister has advised the officials to find more land in the area and encourage the farmers to expand seed potato cultivation.

The Minister who said that the potato cultivation in Sri Lanka will not be allowed to die out, said the government will not only protect the potato cultivation but also produce the potatoes, needed for country and prevent the importation of potatoes

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