News Item in Sri Lanka Mirror, early January 2023:
Arrangements have been made to distribute 6.98 million liters of diesel donated by the Chinese Government for agricultural activities in Sri Lanka to paddy farmers from today (09).
At the request of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Chinese Government donated 10.06 million liters of diesel after considering the economic difficulties faced by the people engaged in the agricultural and fishing sectors.
Accordingly, 6.98 million liters of diesel was given for agricultural activities and the rest of the fuel would be utilized for fishing activities.
Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the officials to provide fuel free of charge at the time of harvesting, since the farmers had already finished their cultivation by the time the fuel stock was received.
Commissioner General of Agrarian Development A. H. M. L. Aberathne said fuel will be distributed from today since some farmers will commence harvesting by the end of January.
This stock of fuel is planned to be given to each farmer through a special voucher online and the official issuance of the voucher will be done today (09) at 11.00 am at the Ministry of Agriculture by Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.
Under this programme, steps have been taken to provide free fuel to the farmers who cultivate paddy from half an acre to two hectares.
Accordingly, arrangements have been made to provide 15 liters of diesel for one hectare and 30 liters of diesel for two hectares.
According to Minister Amaraweera, a subsidy of Rs.150,000 has been given to a farmer who cultivates one hectare including the subsidies received from the government and the international community.