The Agrarian Services Ministry will purchase vegetables, onion, potatoes and other food crops and fruits from farmers through 556 Agrarian Services Centers and sell them island wide almost at farm gate prices to control the escalating vegetable and fruit prices, Agrarian Services and Wild Life Minister S.M.Chandrasena said.
“What we are trying to do is to keep the vegetable and fruit prices as low as possible because middle men will attempt to exploit the impending vegetable shortage following damage caused to vegetable farms by flash floods,” Minister Chandrasena said.
He added that middle men and traders sell vegetables, fruits and coconuts at prices three times more than the buying price.
Citing a recent experience he said Anuradhapura and Kurunegala traders jacked up the coconut price by 100% after media reported that a coconut sells at Rs. 60.00 in the south
Prices of many consumer items such as coconut and onion are artificial. They exploit the situation and fee the consumer,” Minister Chandrasena charged.
He added that the government will launch the 10,000 home garden programme and declare 2011 as the ‘Year of Cultivation’. (Sandun A Jayasekera)