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’’Told you to plant something’’

Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister’s response to skyrocketing vegetable prices

19 January 2024 02:54 pm - 19     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Are vegetables becoming too expensive for you? 

Well, you only have yourself to blame – or that’s what the country’s agriculture minister seemed to suggest when journalists questioned him on skyrocketing vegetable prices.
The Minister also recalled his earlier advice to the public, to grow their own vegetables. 

“I told you so. I had warned several times before, that vegetable prices will soar. I predicted this would happen as we saw heavy rainfall for months. For instance we are seeing fair weather in Hambantota only today after several days of heavy rain,” the Minister told journalists. 

Surely this is just one minister in the Cabinet who appears to be tone-deaf to the difficulties of the general public, right? 

Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said that he issued instructions to all 19 open university premises owned by the Education Ministry, to immediately start cultivation projects, as a solution to the issue of pricey vegetables. Immediate action should be taken to carry out cultivations that can be used on a daily basis, he said.   

Is the future of the country really going to depend on citizens becoming self-sufficient, and not depending on the state or economy meeting their requirements?

 


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  Comments - 19

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  • NAGA Friday, 19 January 2024 09:41 PM

    THAT, S NOT TRUE, THE FARMERS HAVE PROBLEMS LOOKING FORWARD INSECTS, WORMS, ANIMALS GARBAGE, FERTILIZER FLOOD, DROUGHT, TRANSPORT, MARKETING. AND GOOD PRICE.

    Sumo Saturday, 20 January 2024 07:14 AM

    19 ou premises to grow food. Can they feed a nation lof 20 odd million. What a silly ass.

    Tissa Fernando Sunday, 21 January 2024 05:11 AM

    This is the typical low-level mentality of majority Sri Lankans. They want to start everything big. They want government to do growing agriculture. He used the word 'feed' which indicates that he expects government to feed the people. But people are not ready even to plant tapioca tree in their backyards filled with rubbish. People in other countries having a 5 perch land are growing vegetables nicely. Here , these guys want government to do that for them so they could permanently get fed by government.

    sumo Wednesday, 24 January 2024 07:01 AM

    My dear Tissa. I did not imply that the govt feeds the nation, rather the government facilitates the process. ie incentives to farmers. no VAT on food etc. Most countries do not tax food for people. There are many other ways the government can help. Many, myself included have been promoting homegrown foods for years. The minister's ideas are not novel. By the way, my mentality is quite robust. Perhaps you should visit our Negombo and the surroundings to see how people are doing with their cultivation of essentials including Tapioca.

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 29 January 2024 10:26 PM

    Sumo, if you are for home farming then why jumped the gun at what the Minister said. The minister may be a useless guy but what he said was correct.

    Percy Wijenayake Saturday, 20 January 2024 05:05 PM

    If prices go up that will be an incentive for households to grow their own veges. In Australia we grow our veges in pots.

    M Fernando Friday, 02 February 2024 08:10 AM

    That's a great idea In the slums of Colombo and even in these new hermetically-sealed condominums and flats where a lot of colombo people seem to live, I am sure they can start growing their own paddy, legumes and vegetables in pots to feed themselves and not rely on anyone

    G S C Silva Saturday, 20 January 2024 10:27 PM

    This minister is one of the useless ones who is like patholaya. No action only words. He is not a criminal but doesn't do anything to improve the situation what has happened to the agriculture in the country. We need someone who can think out of the box.

    Fred Sunday, 21 January 2024 12:24 AM

    Vote all these people out at the next election. Tell them to grow their own food when they are home and elect people who can solve national issues(country's problems.)

    Sambo Sunday, 21 January 2024 08:21 AM

    We planted eggs but no crops.

    M Fernando Saturday, 03 February 2024 03:10 AM

    I tried that once with a chicken. I was able to get chicken curry after the poor creature died in the pot . I also had to grow the curry-powder and coconut so it took quite some time - and I burned down the trees to make the cooking-fire

    Hard Truth Sunday, 21 January 2024 01:12 PM

    There is a point. Well said minister.

    Percy Wijenayake Tuesday, 23 January 2024 12:01 PM

    A good project is to market soil in bags enriched with chicken manure, cow manure, blood and bone, fish and sea weed, to enable house holders to grow vegetables in pots.

    Minister with cheap advice! Monday, 29 January 2024 01:39 PM

    We appreciate the Ministers words. But what has he done as a minister to facilitate poor farmers to grow more? Has he used his power to help our farmers? Does he know his job? If his job is to give advice, then he is OK; but he has to do more than that! Is he trying to dig the grave for Ranil?

    Ministers rubbing salt into financial suffered wounds of the public Monday, 29 January 2024 07:21 PM

    Public have busy time and life with earning. Who can also take up farming, and where is the land for that? The price increases were sudden, and carrots and beans takes months to grow. What use 1 kilo carrot in small patch? Minister grand standing and being idiots and public should realise government Ministers are deaf to the publics suffering, giving only idiot and impossible ideas.

    Tissa Fernando Friday, 02 February 2024 10:18 PM

    Here comes another negative thinker. Stop watching useless teledramas and save time. You have many public holidays as well. If there is no land , look at some you tube videos of people growing a lot with a small piece of land. You call others as idiots but you sound to be more like that by the way.

    Every inch of fertile Lanka shuld be cultivated Sunday, 04 February 2024 06:08 PM

    This minister is in a position to make things happen because he has position, power and also responsibility to do them. But is he doing them? He could provide required fertilizer to cultivators! He could arrange advisors to visit villages and cities to enlighten would be growers. HE HAS FAILED.

    Lal. Fernando Tuesday, 20 February 2024 04:59 AM

    I hope some people will remember what once Mrs. Bandaranayke said to people , which is , PLANT MANIOCK TREES AS FENCES.

    Reader Wednesday, 21 February 2024 07:57 PM

    This man wants cheap publicity. Strange his face is not shown with the usual grin.


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