Refuting claims that the country was heading towards a food crisis, Agricultural Minister Mahindananada Aluthgamage said today special mechanism was in the making to supply rice at a reasonable price during the upcoming festive season.
He told Parliament that he could guarantee that there won't be a food crisis as claimed by the opposition when considering the statistics of the extent of land cultivated during the last Yala and Maha seasons and the estimated paddy harvest.
Responding to a question raised by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the Minister said according to available data, there was only a 25% shortfall in the paddy harvest.
Opposition Leader also said there was an issue of food security in the country as prices of essential commodities are going beyond the reach of the common man and added that food security means not only abundance of food in the market but people could purchase them at an affordable price.
The Minister said he accepted the fact that prices were going up and people have faced difficulties and pointed out that responsibility of his ministry was to ensure proper food supply in the market.
“We have a plan to provide rice at a reasonable price during the upcoming Sinhala and Hindu New Year. We have stocks of paddy purchased by the Paddy Marketing Board,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)