Handing Over the Medirigiriya Grain – Protection Center to the Public
A programme to establish a healthier economy in the country and set up a fair price for the farmer and construct a grain storage center for the farmer community has been provided by the President in accordance with the National Development Plans. The President made these remarks while commissioning the first grain storage centre at Medirigiriya in Polonnaruwa yesterday (09th).
Addressing the gathering the President said it has been aimed to increase the volume of agriculture production to ensure a sound economy, while empowering farmers economically. Moreover, farmers will be relieved of loan burdens. The project has been given top priority among other national development plans. The farmers were not getting a fare price for their harvest and middlemen tend to get a lion’s share. President Maithripala Sirisena said measures to establish grain storage centers countrywide aiming to uplift the agriculture production of the country will be initiated. The President suggested introducing more storage facilities for fruits and vegetables as well.
This will also help to address the issue of food security and paddy prices and at the same time prevents the exploiting of the producers by middlemen. The President said that this would give the farmers opportunity to sell the paddy at a price determined by them instead of the buyer.
Speaking at the event, the President said that the water issue faced by farmers in the Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Ampara districts and the irrigation problem of the people in the respective countries has been completed. The construction of the Kalu Ganga reservoir is in rapid progress, and the work will be completed by July, the President said.
The grain storage centre, established at a cost of Rs 313 million at Medirigiriya facilitates to store 10,000 metric tonnes of paddy. The centre will be managed under the Regional Development Bank. Apart from storing grains, the centre will facilitate to protect the quality of stored grains, dehydration of grains, protecting from pests etc are among the other services. Besides, farmers will receive guarantee for gains that stored in the centre.
It is significant that farmers can obtain a 70 per cent money in advance for the grains they store in the centre. The centre is run by a 100 Kw solar power plant established at the centre itself.
After commissioning the centre, the President handed over compensations to 3,634 farmers, whose cultivations were affected for various reasons. Rs 750 million were paid as compensation to the farmers.
Maha Sangha of the area, Former Chief Minister of the North Central Province Peshala Jayaratne, Secretary to the Treasury S. R. Attygalle, Polonnaruwa District Secretary Panduka Abeywardena were among the distinguished guests.