Army relieves paddy farmers’ woes | Sunday Observer

Army relieves paddy farmers’ woes

The Army has launched a program to facilitate the purchase of paddy from paddy farmers through the Paddy Marketing Board to ensure a fair price for the produce. According to Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, paddy will be purchased through District Secretariats.

He said the new program has been implemented on the instruction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to eliminate the rice mafia in the country.

The Army within three days repaired nearly 40 paddy marketing board warehouses which were not in use due to disrepair, last week. “The Paddy Marketing Board had no place to store paddy,” he said. According to the Commander, the repaired warehouses by the Army amounts to 85 percent of the warehouses belonging to the Paddy Marketing Board.

“We decided to facilitate the purchase of paddy by the Paddy Marketing Board through the district secretariats,” he said. According to the Commander, through this program since Thursday, the Paddy Marketing Board has purchased a significant amount of paddy from the farmers.

“The paddy marketing board does not have officials around the country, but the Army is present across the island,” he said. The Commander has appointed one officer to oversee the program, while designated officers from Security Force Headquarters across the island will educate the farmers to sell their produce to the Paddy Marketing Board.

He said the Army has also reached out to banks to secure a loan scheme for paddy farmers. “This is because some large scale rice producers provide loans to farmers to get farmers sell their produce to them,” he said.

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