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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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Shooting incident ‘targeting’ former MP Uddika was self-orchestrated : Police

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Sri Lanka Police says it has been uncovered that the incident where several gunshots had been fired at the vehicle belonging to former Anuradhapura District parliamentarian Uddika Premaratne, had been orchestrated by the actor-turned-politician himself with the assistance of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the area.

Speaking during a press conference held in Colombo today (13), the Police Media Spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa said that the suspects connected to the incident have been identified so far following investigations carried out by the CID.

On September 17, 2023, a group of unidentified gunmen had opened fire at Premaratne’s car soon after he returned to his residence in Anuradhapura at around 10:35 p.m. The parliamentarian had managed to escape unharmed.

The perpetrators, who had arrived in a car, were said to have targeted the parliamentarian who was walking towards the house after parking his vehicle. The left rear door glass of Premaratne’s car was damaged in the shooting incident for which the gunmen were believed to have used a pistol.

Anuradhapura police initiated investigations soon after the incident was reported and Special Task Force (STF) personnel were deployed to beef up the security near the MP’s house. Later, investigations into the matter were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

However, the former MP claimed that the existing system within the country was the reason behind the recent shooting incident targeting him.

Speaking in Parliament in this regard, MP Premaratne said that while he believed the system was the cause behind the recent shooting outside his residence, it is also the reason why the country is in the state it is today.

Later on 27 February 2024, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP resigned as a Member of Parliament, following which S.C. Muthukumarana of SLPP was appointed to fill the vacant MP seat.

However, Premaratne was later reported to have flown to Canada, seeking political asylum, which he refuted, and claimed that he was expecting a work visa in Canada.

In 2020, the popular actor was announced as a candidate for the 2020 parliamentary election from the Anuradhapura District as a member of the Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance, a political alliance led by the SLPP formed in 2019. 

He obtained 133,550 votes and won a seat in the 16th Parliament of Sri Lanka.

(adaderana.lk)

(This story, originally published by adaderana.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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