Former Agriculture Minister and JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said a large number of farmers in Polonnaruwa had given up paddy cultivation this season due to the failure to sell their Maha harvest.
Joining the debate on the amendment to the regulation of the Sri Lanka Exports Development Act, in Parliament, Mr. Dissanayake said some farmers had now come to Colombo seeking jobs in the private security and construction sector since the government had not purchased their harvest.
He charged that both the state and private paddy purchasing processes were handled by Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath - the biggest mill owner in the district.
?Mr. Gamlath knows how much paddy can be purchased from the government allocation of Rs.700 million. After this amount is over, he sends his lorries to villages to purchase paddy from farmers at nine or ten rupees a kilogram. That is the reality,? he said.