The President of the National Agrarian Union Anuradha Tennakoon has also revealed that there is a racket of releasing them to the market under local brands.
In addition, he said that a plan is being implemented to import paddy from Vietnam at a price of Rs. 25-30 per kilo and release it to the market under local brands at the current local rice prices.
Anuradha Tennakoon said this while speaking to the media yesterday (26) after presenting the three-pronged Agrarian plan to the Malwathu Asgiriya Mahanayake Theras to lift the people out of economic and political anarchy.
He also pointed out that the country’s rice production has dropped by about 60%, adding that the farmers have yet not commenced the Yala season cultivation due to the lack of fertilizer. He also warned that by August, the country’s rice stocks would be exhausted and a serious food shortage is bound to arise.
He said that about $ 2,000 million was needed to import rice to meet the country's rice shortage and that such a dollar amount could not be found in the country’s current predicament.
Tennakoon also noted that although the government claims 65,000 metric tons of Urea would be imported from India, no one knows a specific date of such fertilizer arriving, adding that the fertilizer that the government claims is available at Rs. 1,000 per sack cannot be found anywhere. He also said that currently, a sack of fertilizer sells at between Rs. 40,000 to 50,000 and that the farmers are postponing their Yala season farming due to this situation.