Mahanayaka Theras of Malwathu/Asgiri chapters suggest implementing new agricultural practices
The Agriculture Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera called over last Thursday (23) in Kandy to discuss with the Mahanayaka Theras and obtain the guidance of the Chief Prelates of two chapters before starting the cultivation activities in the upcoming Maha season. Former Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, Agriculture Ministry Secretary Gunadasa Samarasinghe and Hadabima Authority Chairman Sarath Withana also participated in this event.
The Mahanayaka Theras of Malwatu/Asgiri chapters suggested implementing new agricultural practices suitable for the country to protect farmers who work tirelessly to quench the hunger of the people of the country.
Presently, Chief Prelate of Malwathu Chapter who expressed his views regarding the lack of participation of the youth in the agricultural activities in the country, he asked the Minister to give priority to attract the youth community to agriculture. The Malwathu Chapter chief prelate also advised to give a fair price for the harvest of the farmers and if the farmers get tired of farming then the people of the whole country will have to starve.
Also, in the discussion held with Asgiri Mahanayaka Thera, he inquired about the damage caused to the agriculture of this country due to the drought situation as well as the lack of water.
The Chief Prelate of Asgiri Chapter emphasized that appropriate compensation should be given to the farmers for the crop damage and it is the responsibility of the Government as well as the people of the entire country to protect the farmers who would satisfy the hunger of the people of the country. The Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, who expressed his views, said that it is his policy to always seek the opinions and advice of the Chief Prelate of both the Malwathu and Asgiri chapters before commencing cultivation of the Yala and Maha seasons.
As suggested by the Theras, special programmes have now been started to encourage the youth community in agriculture. In addition, the evaluations to provide crop damage compensation to farmers are in the final stage.
The Minister also mentioned that the crop damage assessment was first started for the damage caused due to drought, but now the assessment is being done in relation to the damage caused to the crops due to floods and heavy rain. The Ministry of Agriculture has taken all necessary measures to make the next Maha season a success. But due to the ongoing El Nino activity, the Minister mentioned that they will have to face a severe flood in the months of October and November or a severe drought again in the next Yala season.
Therefore, in order to minimize the damages caused by these conditions, the farmers should also be interested in starting paddy cultivation on time and managing the water in the reservoirs as much as possible, the Minister said.
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