The fertilizer shipment with 44,000 metric tons of fertilizer, which is the first part of 65,000 metric tons of urea fertilizer, arrived in Colombo on Saturday.
The official delivery of the fertilizer stock to Sri Lanka took place at the official residence of the Indian High Commissioner (India House) in Colombo. The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Bhagle, yesterday handed over the documents relating to the stockpile of urea fertilizer to Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. Additional Secretary Mahesh Gammanpila and the Chairman of the two government-owned fertilizer companies also attended the event. The minister expressed his gratitude to the Indian government for its decision to provide urea-based fertilizers at a time when Sri Lankan agriculture was facing a crisis.
During my short tenure as Minister of Agriculture, I have taken action to address many issues facing farmers. At the same time, it will be possible to supply urea-based fertilizers to farmers, especially during the Yala season. At present, the cultivated rice fields in our country have increased to five hundred and five thousand hectares. Negotiations with the World Bank have been successful so far to provide the urea fertilizer needed for the season.
“Farmers had about Rs 30,000 million in unpaid loans to the four government banks for many years. Steps have been taken to cut them all off. Thanks to this, about one million farmers will be freed from their debts,” he said. Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bhagle said the fertilizer charge is provided under an Indian line of credit scheme. “As the Government of India, we always support our neighbor friend, Sri Lanka. The minister also mentioned that we hope to continue this cooperation,” he said.
Fertilizer unloading is currently underway at Colombo Port and is expected to be completed within ten days. The fertilizer trading company will distribute the fertilizer stock to 566 agrarian service centers using 800 trucks. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation provided 125,000 liters of fuel for this.