As stated in the state policy statement, the Government of Sri Lanka has made all necessary arrangements to implement subsidized fertilizer distribution programme in 2019 Yala season too. The government policy is to provide 50 kg bag of major three fertilizer types such as Urea, Triple Super Phosphate and Muriate of Potash at Rs. 500/-. All the farmers those who are cultivating Paddy in the paddy fields, extent not exceeding 02 hectares are entitled to obtain these fertilizer types at subsidized price. In addition, when the water availability is not sufficient for productive paddy cultivation, as per the decisions made at the Cultivation Committee Meetings, farmers those who are cultivating Other Field Crops and Vegetables in paddy fields without creating any barrier for cultivating paddy in the next season are also qualified to get subsidized fertilizer.
The main objectives of this programme are to,
- Minimize cultivation costs and thereby production costs in paddy farming sector
- Encourage farmers to cultivate paddy
- Convert abundant paddy lands in to productive
- Increase productivity and production
- Increase farming income and make paddy farming is a economically viable agricultural practice
- Eliminate Rice scarcities in the domestic market and to ensure food security
- Export traditional Rice varieties to international market at very high prices
The annual financial requirement for this programme is approximately Rs. Mn 35,000 and with the unpredictable nature of fertilizer price fluctuations in the international market, the financial requirement for year 2019 is estimated as Rs. Mn. 35,000 to meet the target. When compare to actual commercial prices of chemical fertilizers, the Government bears nearly 90% of the fertilizer cost and only balance 10% is the farmer’s contribution to fulfill their total fertilizer need.
Fertilizer Need Assessment Process
Prior to season the chemical fertilizer need is assessed by deeply considering the cultivation targets and fertilizer recommendations introduced by the Department of Agriculture based on the agri ecological zones and irrigation systems. Village level information is collected to estimate regional, district and national level fertilizer need. The Agrarian Services Centre area is the most effective planning base for this process.
With the coordination of Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority and the Irrigation Management Division, the Department of Agrarian Development is responsible to timely estimate fertilizer need for given season on Agrarian Services Centre basis and develop regional level fertilizer distribution mechanism based on the need and locations of the fertilizer stores. To facilitate this process, District Fertilizer Coordination Committees have been established in each and every District with the direct supervision of District Secretaries / Government Agents. Additional District Secretary is the Chairman and Agrarian Development Deputy / Assistant Commissioner or District Assistant Director of National Fertilizer Secretariat is the Convener of this committee where all the district heads of the stakeholder organizations including state fertilizer companies are members.
After identifying fertilizer need and formulating distribution plan for the district, based on the Agrarian Services Centres, it is responsibility of the District Fertilizer Coordination Committees, to discuss it at the District Agriculture Committee to get final approval by confirming the accuracy of the need assessments and time targets.
National Fertilizer Secretariat is responsible for following,
- Provide all necessary information and guidelines to district, regional and village level stakeholders
- Collect information on paddy land extents to be cultivated, fertilizer needs and distribution plans approved by the District Agriculture Committees.
- Check accuracy of the fertilizer requirements of the Agrarian Services Centre levels by applying cultivable paddy land extents and fertilizer recommendations for given area.
- Estimate national level fertilizer need for the targeted season
- Provide fertilizer importation and distribution quota for state fertilizer companies. (Normally based on their handling capacities, 60% of the national need is to Ceylon Fertilizer Company and balance 40% is to Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company)
- Facilitate tender procedures to ensure timely importation of required fertilizer quantities.
- Ensure quality and standards of the imported fertilizer for the subsidy programme
- Identify fertilizer distribution clusters based on the locations of regional fertilizer stores and Agrarian Services Centres, fertilizer need and other infrastructure facilities
- Formulate national fertilizer distribution plan for District and Agrarian Services Centre levels while introducing fertilizer distribution clusters. With this cluster system, each and every Agrarian Services Centre is confined to fulfill their fertilizer need mentioned in this plan only from allocated stores of the allocated fertilizer company. At the same time, Ceylon Fertilizer Company and Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company are confined to issue correct fertilizer quantities only to the Agrarian Services Centres which are identified to the allocated distribution cluster. In addition, with this cluster system, it is very easy to trace and solve problems and it helps to minimize malfunctions.
- Formulate and distribute implementation guidelines and instructions with the fertilizer distribution plan to district, regional and village level stakeholders
- Introduce supervision and monitoring mechanism for district, regional and village level stakeholders and conduct regular progress review meetings
This fertilizer distribution plan is the productive outcome of the above mentioned process and effort collectively contributed by the various stakeholders. To achieve the objectives of the fertilizer subsidy programme, it is very important to correctly and timely implementation of this distribution plan along with the detail instructions and guidelines mentioned in the attached circular. In addition, all extension workers of the all relevant organizations attached to each level must ensure that beneficiary farmers are applying subsidized fertilizers to correct crop, with correct quantities, with correct land preparations, with correct dosages and at correct time.
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and the National Fertilizer Secretariat are hereby expressed their gratitude to Political Leaders at every level, all Provincial Councils, District Secretaries / Government Agents, District Fertilizer Coordination Committees, Department of Agrarian Development, Department of Agriculture and Provincial Departments of Agriculture, Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority, Irrigation Management Division, Ceylon Fertilizer Company, Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company and all other stakeholders for their clear understanding on the fertilizer subsidy programme and productive contribution rendered for planning and implementing.
As long as you think this is your own effort and responsibility, the objectives could be achieved easily and there will be no opportunity for corruptions.
Let us collectively wish, “May fertilizer distribution programme 2019 Yala a success”.
National Fertilizer Secretariat
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development