Curfew affects food supplies to estates says MONLAR

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Curfew imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus had seriously affected the food supplies to the estate sector, Convenor of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) Chinthaka Rajapakshe told The Island yesterday.

Rajapakshe said: "The estate workers are paid in a very complicated way. They get paid daily but there are targets. They are paid Rs. 750 a day, if they pluck 18 kilos a day but due to the prevailing dry weather meeting that target is not possible."

Therefore, the income of the estate workers had dropped drastically, Rajapakshe said. Earlier people were allowed to work elsewhere when there was no work available on estates, but they are no longer allowed to do so.

"Therefore, we urge plantation companies and the unions to find a way to help these people during this crisis. There are around 150,000 families of estate workers.

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