* Agriculture Minister says the government has uplifted Sri Lanka’s …

July 23, Colombo: Agriculture Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says the government has managed to uplift the agriculture sector in the country and that vegetable prices have declined in the past few weeks as a result.

Minister Abeywardena told Colombo Page that vegetable prices continue to decline and the government would have to intervene to maintain prices to prevent the farmers from suffering huge losses.

He added that the country was now self-sufficient in rice and that rice prices have also seen a decline. “A kilo of rice is now Rs. 40,” he said.

Abeywardena said that the government’s Api Wavamu Rata Nagamu programme aimed at uplifting the agriculture sector in the country and making it self-sufficient has been a success.

He said the Cabinet has granted approval to continue with the programme till 2013.

“The programme initially focused on paddy cultivation, but it would now be expanded to cover other agricultural crops as well,” Abeywardena observed.

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