Farmers rendered a great service to the country in the midst of various difficulties. In particular, the contribution of the Mahaweli farmers to the agricultural development in the country deserves special mention, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to the ‘Mahaweli Govi Upahara – 2011’, the annual Mahaweli farmer felicitation ceremony held at Temple Trees yesterday (December 13).
In one era, some questioned as to why agriculture was necessary, and during that time, suggestions were made to fill up paddy fields, erect buildings and establish industries, he said. No money was allocated to irrigation development. However, a programme was introduced with a different vision for the progress of agriculture after 2005, he added.
The fertilizer subsidy is still provided to farmers by way of an investment, that has helped us being self sufficient with rice, the President noted.
Presenting the felicitation of Mahawli farmers, the Mahaweli fruit harvest was presented to President by a group consisting of Minister of Irrigation Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva and Deputy Minister W.B. Ekanayake.
Later, the President presented merits to winners of the competitions: the Best Milk Farmer, the Exemplary Small Women’s Team, the Exemplary Water Management Farmer Organization and the Exemplary Field.
In recognition of the great service rendered by President for the benefit of Mahaweli farmers, he was presented a felicitation memento.
This event was attended by Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S. M. Chandrasena, Secretaries to Ministries, senior officials in the Mahaweli Authority and around 3000 farmers.