Govt. assures supply of essential food items to the public

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Government assured that there wouldn’t be any disruption of the supply of essential food items to the public during the Coronavirus outbreak and requests the public not to panic over a future food shortage.

As a measure to face any food shortage, Cabinet approval has been granted to a special cultivation programme named ‘Saubagya’ proposed by Agriculture Minister, Chamal Rajapaksa to ensure the food security of the country in the future, said the co-cabinet spokesman, Minister Dr. Ramesh Patirana while announcing this week’s Cabinet decisions.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet media briefing held on Wednesday, April 1 at the Government Information Department, Minister Pathirana said that the  public need not panic over a shortage of food since the government has already taken number of measures to provide essential food item for the public without any disruption.

He further said that the purpose of implementing ‘Saubagya’ programme is to make the country self-sufficient in order to face any food crisis in the future.

According to the Minister, ‘Saubagya’ programme is scheduled to be inaugurated on April 9 and it is expected to provide assistance to implement both small scale and large scale cultivation projects including home gardens and large scale farms island wide.

Seeds, raw materials and fertilizer will be provided by the government. During the Cabinet meeting it was also decided to purchase agricultural produce at a certified price and also to implement a crop insurance scheme through the Presidential Fund on Covid 19.

Decision has also been taken to cultivate maize, green gram, undu, sesame, kollu, big onion, chili, potato, ground nut in a large extent of lands.

“The government has also decided to ban and limit the importation of goods except fuel and pharmaceutical products with the intention of strengthening local industries,” he stressed.