The minister said this decision was taken to protect the local rice farmers and with the agreement of the private paddy mill owners. The paddy mill owners had agreed to purchase a kilo of Nadu paddy from the farmers at Rs. 38 and samba at rs.41, the minister said. In the event the price needs to be increased, the farmer should also get a percentage of the income, the minister said, adding that measures are being taken to provide the farmers free fertilizer in the future.
The government has already commenced the purchase of paddy and has allocated over Rs. One billion for this purpose and more funds would be allocated in the future, Minister Harrison said, adding that under the first stage Rs. 100 million has been given to the District Secretaries for the purchase of paddy.