Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India is our elder brother. He helped us a lot during the peak of the crisis. It is only because of India’s help that we have been able to deal with the situation. We must not forget that India was the first country in the world to provide urea to Sri Lanka.
Image Credit source: News9
Sri Lanka Agriculture Minister Mahindra Amarveera Has described India as his elder brother and a true friend. He said that India helped a lot in the time of crisis. He said that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi But we have full faith. India was the first country to help the country during the agrarian crisis in Sri Lanka. In a conversation with News 9, he said, ‘India is like an elder brother to Sri Lanka and it was the first country to help the country at the time of agrarian crisis in the country.
He said that the people of Sri Lanka trust the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and hope that Sri Lanka will soon come out of the economic crisis. When asked about the steps taken to overcome the crisis in the agriculture sector, Mahinda Amaraweera said, “We have made arrangements to import fertilisers. Our main objective is to produce food in the country. Apart from this, he answered many more questions.
What steps have you taken to come out of the crisis in the agriculture sector?
In response to this question, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that due to the sudden decision of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to ban chemical fertilizers, there was an agrarian crisis in the country. But now the ban on chemical fertilizers is over, so we hope that the situation will improve. We have made arrangements to import fertilizers. Our main objective is to produce food in the country. We are focusing on the poultry industry to meet the protein requirements. In the next two years, we will solve the issues related to agriculture and food security.
Why was the decision to ban chemical fertilizers taken?
The previous government had decided to adopt the policy of green agriculture within 10 years. The purpose behind this was to save foreign exchange, as we were spending 400 million US dollars only on fertilisers. The second reason was the promotion of non-toxic diets in Sri Lanka because of the increased incidence of chronic diseases in the farming community, including chronic kidney disease. The motive behind this was to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture. Even today, there is a view within the government that we should gradually move towards green agriculture. Now we will follow a formula under which chemical fertilizers will be used in 70 percent area and organic manure in 30 percent agriculture area. This will allow us to save foreign exchange, but we understand that no country in the world can be 100% organic.
India and Sri Lanka are neighbors, what kind of assistance do you need from India?
India is our elder brother. He helped us a lot during the peak of the crisis. It is only because of India’s help that we have been able to deal with the situation. We must not forget that India was the first country in the world to provide urea to Sri Lanka. This increased the crop yield in the country. We are grateful to India for this help. India also helped us with credit lines for staple foods, which helped us survive. We hope that India will continue to help till we reach a certain level. I also want to say that the food situation in Sri Lanka has improved.
Will the power of the working president decrease in Sri Lanka?
In response to this question, Amaraweera said that the 22nd Amendment will be passed by the Parliament soon. It will reduce the powers of the working speaker and empower the Parliament.
What was the message of the Sri Lankans during the protests?
There were many issues in Sri Lanka and that is why people were on the streets. But protest alone cannot solve problems. Political parties and people should come together for those decisions which will help the country.
What are your views on the widespread presence of Chinese interests as an issue between Sri Lanka and India?
In response to this question, he said that both the countries have helped us, but India is our elder brother and true friend. China’s help to Sri Lanka is more commercial. We firmly believe that India will continue to support Sri Lanka in future also. We have faith in the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
America gave billions of dollars to Pakistan, which supports terrorism, but it did not come forward to help Sri Lanka, why?
The Agriculture Minister said that not only America. Many countries of the Middle East also came forward to help Pakistan. However, in the US context, we have issues related to the MCC agreement. We are trying to balance our relations with other countries according to the new political structure. Our priority is to solve the fuel and food crisis.
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