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Farmers to be provided a 50kg bag of Urea at Rs.10,000

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The Ministry of Agriculture has received the first stock of 13,000 tons of Urea fertilizer today (28) under the World Bank concessional emergency loan of 110 million US dollars and accordingly, the government has decided to provide a 50 kg bag of urea fertilizer to paddy farmers at Rs.10,000.

This step was taken to protect household food security, farming and rural incomes based on the demands made during several discussions with the intervention of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

This World Bank support complements the support of other development partners such as the Asian Development Bank and the United States Agency for International Development.

Sri Lanka requires approximately 150,000 tonnes of urea fertilizer for paddy cultivation during the Maha season. Mr. Rohana Pushpakumara, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Suren Batagoda, President’s Senior Adviser on Food Security, confirmed that it is possible to provide this requirement completely.

The fertilizer will be distributed directly to the paddy farmers through Agrarian Service Centres. Paddy farmers who grow paddy up to a minimum of 2 hectares will be able to purchase a fixed number of bags of fertilizer depending on the area they have prepared for paddy.

The maximum amount of fertilizer each farmer can purchase is determined based on the recommendations of the Department of Agriculture, with variations depending on the agro ecological zone. In addition, 12,000 metric tons of urea is to be provided for 60,000 hectares of maize farmers, and the price of a 50 kg bag is set at Rs.15,000.

Currently, the war in Ukraine and the world’s geopolitical conditions present a very challenging market situation in terms of the production and distribution of fertilizer.

Amid rising market prices, the Ministry of Agriculture has signed an agreement to supply 12,500 metric tons, 50,000 metric tons and 45,000 metric tons of urea under three phases.

The agreement to procure another 25,000 metric tons of urea is to be signed shortly.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 21,000 metric tons of urea have already been distributed to the farmers under the Indian Concessional Loan facility.

With the support of the World Bank, the Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to deploy a Geo-Enabled Monitoring System (GEMS) to monitor the distribution of fertilizer from ports to agrarian service centres and from agrarian service centres to farmers. The system is also used for environmental and social risk management, grievance redress and impact.

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Armed gang robs Police OIC’s house

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An armed gang came in motorcycles ransacked a residence of an Officer In-Charge (OIC) of the Kalutara North Police this afternoon.

Police said the armed gang which broke into the house of the OIC, inspector Nishan Kumara of the minor complaints unit of Kalutara North at Welipenna reportedly stole two mobile phones and gold jewelry and fled.

The IP was not at home at the time of the robbery, but his wife who was at home was attacked by the robbers.  She was injured in the attack.

It was reported that robbers were carrying T-56 firearm.

Several police teams are investigating the incident.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Schoolboy dies after drowning in swimming pool

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A 14-year-old schoolboy who was swimming in the swimming pool in a hotel at Boralassa, Wennappuwa had drowned.

Police said the victim, a grade 10 schoolboy from Galagedara and was studying in a school in Sandalankawa.

It has been revealed that the schoolboy was swimming in the pool with fellow students while on an excursion with a group of 80 schoolchildren from a tution class in Makandura.

The Wennappuwa Police are conducting further investigations.

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Applying for passports online from next year

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The Immigration and Emigration Department has planned to accept applications to issue passports online starting in January next year, the department’s IT controller Champika Ramawickrama said.

Through the program, an applicant will be able to submit his/her application to the department from the comfort of his home.

He went on to say that the applicant only needs to come to the department to attend to biometric formalities, such as finger prints.

For that, the department has decided to establish 50 front offices counters in each district to obtain fingerprints, Ramawickrama said.

He stated that 50 Divisional Secretariat Offices were chosen from each district for this purpose.

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