COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lankan rice farmers who feed the nation are in a situation where they cannot even afford their own meals.
This can be attributed to the diseases that is turning rice plants yellow, which is spreading across a plethora of paddy lands in the country.
Farmers from Henkola Wewa that falls under the Mahasen Bedum Ela Agrarian Organization in Polonnaruwa commenced the Maha Season cultivation with high hopes.
However, their dreams of a rich harvest were shattered by the disease that is turning rice plants to yellow.
Farmers claim that around 800 acres of rice fields have been affected, leaving the farmers at a massive loss.
Farmers also said that they immediately informed the authorities when they noticed the disease in the initial stages, however, the relevant officials turned a blind eye to the issue.
In addition, over 100 acres of rice fields in the Weligepola area in Ratnapura have also been affected by the disease that is turning rice plants to yellow.
Another 6,000 acres of paddy land in the Rajanganaya Agrarian Settlement have been destroyed by the same disease.
The same fate had befallen many other rice cultivations across the country.
The Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) in Bathalagoda said that tests have revealed that organic fertilizer was NOT a cause for rice plants to turn yellow.
Director of the Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) Dr. Jayantha Senanayake told News 1st that the samples obtained from paddy lands and organic fertilizer samples obtained from the possession of farmers, are being subject to tests.
He added that remedies are available to address the situation.
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