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Drought won’t hit paddy cultivation adversely

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said he is confident that the total paddy production will not be adversely affected due to the prevailing drought. Farmers in certain areas have already shifted to other subsidiary crops.

The harvest from maize and other subsidiary crops will be higher this time. Therefore, we need not panic that there would be a shortage of rice, the Minister told the Sunday Observer.

There are sufficient paddy stocks in the warehouses at present. The paddy purchased even two or three years ago are stored in warehouses. Therefore, there is no possibility of a rice shortage in the market, he said.

A water problem does not exist in the Gal Oya valley, Moneragala or Kathankudi. The water problem is confined only to the Mahaweli H system and certain parts in the Kurunegala district, Girithale and Prakrama Samudraya.

Asked whether there is any blueprint to cushion the impact of drought and provide redress to the farmers, the Minister said that steps have been taken to cultivate nearly 7,000-8,000 hectares of land more than the last year. If the drought persists nearly 29,000 hectares of land will be affected. This will be only 9 percent of the total cultivated area, the Minister said. UK

 

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