A Presidential Advisor on agriculture and a former MP and minister, who defected to the UPFA from the UNP, and lost his seat at the last elections, Hemakumara Nanayakkara resigned his post today in disgust at the Government Agricultural Policies or lack of them. He is also the younger brother of Vasudeva Nanayakkara, an MP and leftist!
This blog is full of the lack of it! And it does not surprise me that after his visits to the farming communities all over the country, it is apparent what a pigs breakfast this Govt. has made of agriculture. The agriculture ministers are confused as to what their responsibilities are, the bureaucrats in the departments are completely unhinged and the farmers left in the dark, as policies come and go in a field that requires long term planning for effective productivity in the least productive sector in our country.
I am sure that once confronted with the farmers’ woes, of schizophrenic behavior on the part of Govt. policies, he realized that he could only express his honest opinion, by not being a yes man, but by being truthful and objective that there is NO policy that is being implemented to benefit agriculture in Sri Lanka.
This lack of knowledge of the subject and the pursuance of a policy aimed at hoodwinking the farmers for votes to win elections, is grounds to be disgusted, as the Govt. takes advantage of a very delicate community facing incredible odds to make a living. It is time that he gives his frank opinion, rather than pussyfooting around, as to the real reasons he is disgusted with the current state of play.
So how about a summary: The quality of the fertilizer given to the farmers suck. The use of the fertilizer is harmful. The planting material given is not up to an acceptable standard. The weather forecasts were wrong and so the officials gave farmers the wrong information with regard to planting, resulting in a colossal loss of inputs as the plants will now die. The unannounced withdrawal of the subsidy for non paddy crops and the late availability of fertilizer. The difference between the guaranteed price to the farmers and the real price they receive. The lack of a market for the produce, and the bad advice from the department on every aspect of agriculture. To name a few of the topics to be covered.