Jaffna residents first to benefit from local paddy harvest– GA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 January 2008, 12:12 GMT]
Jaffna Government Agent (GA), K. Ganesh, in a press announcement Saturday, informed that the paddy expected to be harvested in the Maha cultivation 2007-2008 in Jaffna peninsula will not be sent out of the district. The GA took this step in response to the strong protest raised by NGOs and other civil organizations which pointed out that Jaffna peninsula will be facing an acute shortage of rice if the expected yield is shipped to outer districts, sources in Jaffna said.

The decision to send the expected yield of paddy in Jaffna peninsula to Colombo in ships that leave Jaffna harbours after unloading consignments, was taken in a high level conference held in Colombo headed by Sri Lanka's President Rajapakse.

Authorities have already taken steps to employ the services of an additional ship to transport the paddy to Colombo.

The NGOs and civil organizations in Jaffna peninsula had raised strong protests against this decision and had requested Jaffna GA to reconsider the decision in view of the impending shortage of rice for the district residents.

Rice worth 35 rupees was sold up to Rs. 200 when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) closed the only land route to Jaffna peninsula.

Presently rice is sold at prices between 65 to 80 rupees in Jaffna peninsula.

The 2007-2008 paddy cultivation covering 8752 hectares is expected to give a yield of 16,850 metric tons.

Though this is marginally higher than the normal yield it is enough to meet the needs of the peninsula residents, the protesting organizations pointed out.

The organizations requested the GA to make arrangements to buy the expected yield of paddy and sell it to the district residents.


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