Minister of State Janaka Wakkumbura submit the statement at a discussion chaired by the Chairman of the Task Force Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera.
Currently, plantation companies own large tracts of land in the country that have not been used for any cultivation for over 25 years.
But since they are not used for any cultivation, it does not contribute to the country or the economy.
The President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has pointed this out on a number of occasions during Cabinet meetings, the Minister of Environment said. The president also instructed the Cabinet to submit a Cabinet Memorandum for the acquisition of uncultivated lands said Minister of Environment.
Therefore, the government has decided to provide maximum assistance to the companies that own such lands if they take steps to cultivate food crops on such lands.
The committee also stressed that if they do not take action, such lands could be identified and only those who do not currently have land for cultivation can be allowed to cultivate their food crops.
The task force also discussed the fact that some companies have stated that they will use lands that have not been cultivated for more than 25 years for various housing schemes. But those lands should not be given for the construction of housing schemes in future.
He also pointed out that the shortage of land for food crops could increase if these existing lands are not properly managed.
Therefore, the Presidential Task Force discussed at length at this meeting that steps should be taken to utilize these lands under the plantation companies with priority for food crops harvesting .