Populer speculation is that there is going to be a 50 % drop in food production due to a lack of chemical fertilizer and fuel to till the fields.
The three largest paddy producing districts in Sri Lanka are Ampara, Kurunegala and Polonnaruwa have seen a drastic drop in paddy cultivation according to Lanka News Line reporters.
Although water has been released from tanks such as Mineriya and Parakrama Samudraya farmers are not willing to cultivate as usual. Farmers are not willing to spend 25,000 to till a paddy field without chemical fertilizer is available.
Although there are reports that an Indian consignment of fertilizer is on the way none of it has reached the farmer.Even if the Indian fertilizer bags priced at LKR10,000 arrive in August that would be too late.
On the other hand, late cultivation is a risk that many farmers can’t afford to take because pest attacks could increase due to the delay.
Most farmers say that it’s just impossible to grow high yielding varieties of paddy without Urea (nitrogen fertilizer)
Many farmers have not responded to the government’s plea to plant some other food crops such as mung and Maze.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera is promoting home gardening without knowing what food requirement it could full fil in the short term.
The best guess at this point in time is the point of time is that a food shortage is unavoidable and another credit line may be the only possible and viable solution to prevent the nation from starving.