The farmers claim that a weedicide had destroyed over 500 acres of their paddy fields and authorities are yet to look into the matter.
The called for the immediate intervention of the authorities.
The weedicide, sold by a certain company had destroyed the paddy, leaving weeds to grow rampant.
Speaking, a farmer from Wewe Thenna area - Mr. Prasanna Devasinghe said, "After planting the paddy, I went to get a weedicide. The shop owner told of a new product by a company we are pretty familiar with. So, I used it. In a few days, the weeds rose while the paddy shrivelled and became like onion plants. No one paid any attention to this. Now, I am penniless and the crop is ruined.
Another farmer - Mr. J.A.N. Ravindra said, "I used weedicide during the last season also. But this time, the unthinkable happened. Although the paddy is around 1 1/2 months old, it looks like it is just a week old. It can't be saved. Don't these chemicals come to the market only after being approved by the Agriculture department? If so, why isn't anyone taking the responsibility for this? When i complained to the shop owner, he said that he will tell the company and see. We also informed our Agriculture officer. But they haven't looked into it so far. Now, the crop is ruined and and I am ruined financially. In the end we will be compelled to commit suicide by eating poison."
However, the regional development officer of the Palugasdamana Govijana office - Mr. U.G.C.G. Udagama said that he is yet to be informed of this verbally or in writing.
"However, these farmers have now come and informed me. All these farmers will be brought together through farmers' organisations and an agreement will be reached through discussions. We will work not to create an injustice to farmers, he said.
(Pics : W.A. Piyatillake)
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