Connect with us


Weather wreaks havoc on vegetable cultivations



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Heavy rains in the upcountry have had a devastating impact on the supply of vegetables, Prashan Rajapakshe, Manager – Welisara economic Centre says.

Rajapaksa told the media yesterday that Nuwara Eliya had been experiencing torrential rains for three months almost continuously and that had reduced the quality and quantity of the agricultural produce as well as the extent of the land area under cultivation.

Rajapakshe said that low country vegetables were seasonal unlike the upcountry varieties. Therefore in certain times of the year the supply of low country produced vegetables dropped drastically and that had been the case for decades.

“Right now, there is a shortage of low country vegetables because this is the beginning of the planting season. Farmers have just started planting crops in the main low country farming areas and their produce will only come to the market after 15 January 2022,” he said.

There was also a drop in the supply of upcountry vegetables and it was mainly due to the continual rains in the Central Province, he said, adding that in the month of November, there had been only three days of sunshine in Nuwara Eliya.

“The first week of December was dry but it has been raining since. This affects vegetable production in many ways. If we take Nuwara Eliya for example, there are farms located on the sides of hills and in the lowlands. Due to the heavy rains a lot of cultivations on hill sides have been destroyed by landslides. The cultivations in the low-lying areas have been flooded. This has caused significant damages to the produce,” he said.

The lack of sunshine had also affected the quality and the volume of the vegetables, Rajapakshe said. Consumers judge upcountry vegetables by their colour and the lack of sunshine affected their colours, he said.

“The heavy rains are affecting the cultivation in the low country too. There are heavy rains in many agricultural hubs and the farming is going slow. Mahaweli H Zone, Puttalam, Embilipitiya are among the main zones of agriculture in the low country. If one area is affected by any reason there is a serious effect on the supply of vegetables,”Rajapakshe said.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Now, CEB plans to ‘rationalise’ tariff



By Ifham Nizam

Plans are afoot to ‘rationalise’ the electricity tariff shortly, Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando said, adding that the 52-year-old system should be changed for the betterment of the electricity consumer.

CEB Chief told The Island the CEB tariffs need to be changed to better reflect the use and the income level of the consumer. Ferdinando added that he had already briefed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on it.

Ferdinanado said that right now waste and corruption on CEB’s part had also been added to the consumers’ bill.

He said the CEB had received 1500 MT of fuel yesterday and would receive another shipment soon. However, thort-term power interruptions would continue in several areas until the operations at the Kelanitissa Power Station returns to normal.

“The power interruptions are an annoyance and we are looking for solutions. We too want to provide an uninterrupted power supply to our customers. Our hydro-power generation capacity is low as water levels in reservoirs are receding,” he said.

CEB’s Systems Control Department officials said that power outages might be experienced for one and a half hours due to problems at the Kelanitissa thermal plant complex.

CEB Media Spokesman, Additional General Manager Andrew Navamani said that the national grid had lost 282 MW due to the issues at Kelanitissa thermal plant. He said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had informed the CEB that necessary stocks of fuel for Kelanitissa power plant would be provided by yesterday night.

However, it would take several hours to start the generators, he said.

Continue Reading


Ranil calls on MPs to think anew to find solutions to problems engulfing country



By Saman Indrajith

Traditional politics did not have solutions to problems and the MPs should think anew to find solutions, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.

Participating in the adjournment debate on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, the UNP leader said: We have come to the end of politics. If we go by the words of Francis Fukuyama, it is a question of the end of politics. But that does not mean the end of parliament. We in parliament must think afresh. We must have the strength of finding a new way. We must discuss on bringing about long-term policies which could provide us with a new framework to find solutions for the problems of the people. Thereafter we can go for elections and ask people to decide who or which party could do better. Japan did so. Great Britain is doing so. India and Canada do the same. Why cannot we do it here? If we have common consensus here, we can plan to go for a new era. We must understand this reality.

“The President has commenced this new session at a time when the country is faced with the biggest economic and political crisis in 34 years. In his statement he mentioned only the foreign reserve crisis. The economic crisis we are facing is far more critical than that. We created a middle class with open economic policies. With the collapse of the open economy, the middle class too will collapse. There are a handful of companies and individuals who could earn profits while the entire economy is collapsing. We must decide whether we’ll perish or unite to work out a plan to survive,” Wickremesinghe said.

“We have come to the end of traditional politics. We may shout at each other and go out to shout slogans. None of them will be able to help us find solutions. The problems at hand cannot be solved without a policy framework and strong middle-term plan. What we are facing today is the end of traditional politics,” he said.

Continue Reading


Chandrika says Sirisena should be thrown out of SLFP



Former President Maithripala Sirisena should be thrown out of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) for making it a junior partner of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on Wednesday night after appearing before the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry (SPCoI) appointed to implement the recommendations of the final report of the PCoI into alleged Political Victimisation.

Both Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had destroyed the SLFP, she alleged.

The former President said that she had urged Sirisena not to join the SLPP as that would mark the end of the SLFP.

“I repeatedly told him this and in response Sirisena removed me from the party’s Central Committee and stripped me of my organiser’s post.

Now, Sirisena is saying the same things I said about the SLPP. Even during the war, I managed to get the economy up and running. Look at it now, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” she said.

Bandaranaike was also critical of the SPCoI, stating that she had not been summoned before the PCoI on Political Victimisation for her to respond to any allegations against her.

Continue Reading