Only 50 acres of the paddy land they cultivated have escaped from the pests.
President of their association L.A.R. Gamini Herath blamed this on their paddy land not getting water supply on time and the failure of agricultural officials to provide proper advice to prevent pests.
According to him, these officials who issue advice and orders from air-conditioned comfort do not have any understanding of farming.
It is a crime to keep these officials by paying them from the taxpayers’ money, he said.
He urged the president the mediate and at least now do justice to the suffering farmers who borrowed money to do their cultivations.
Another farmer K.M. Rathbandara said they would have to jump into the Minneriya tank or set themselves on fire at Hingurakgoda town, as they are left without any harvest.
He said the farmers did not want anything for free, but asked that their cultivations be supplied with water on time.
W.W.M. Suraweera said he had no way of repaying a Rs. 200,000 bank loan he had obtained to cultivate five acres.
He said that each village was having three or four agricultural and agrarian officers, but that their paddy cultivations were never visited by them after they became infected with pests.