Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We have had this Divi Neguma long enough not to import vegetables!!!

Why don’t people in the country find irony in statements by Govt. officials time and time again. This Divi Neguma scheme launched at least 3 years ago was a start. It was so that people with small home gardens could plant vegetables to feed themselves first, mainly with organic inputs, so that the diet would also remain healthy and any surplus was supposed to be sent to the local pola to be sold off.

In theory this will bring down the prices of vegetables, as more enters the market and the laws of supply and demand operate. What really happened then to face unheard of prices of vegetables, when the humble grow anywhere aubergine is now Rs250/kg wholesale price!! Will you buy at this price?

It is NO GOOD blaming this on the weather, as supplies cannot diminish to such a great extent to result in such a massive price hike. In simple English it is time for people to realize that the Govt. has fooled them yet again with an unsustainable bogus scheme that wastes money and creates nothing out of it. Yes we can always find the needles in the haystacks of people who have done well out of the “Home Garden.” However that did not require Divi Neguma, only a little incentive for the green fingers to get a push start. It is encouragement and the environment to perform your work with dignity and without interference which is at the heart of this and NOT a hair-brained waste of Money called Divi Neguma.

Now the impeachment crisis has been overshadowed much to the Govt.’s pleasure by the spiraling prices of vegetables and statements meant to put fear into traders that they will import vegetables are part of the ruse to frighten people into submission and the electorate into believing that they are intent on putting a cap on the price rise. All this cock and bull story still does not get away from the fact that our vegetables as compared with our GNP and purchasing prices is today the highest in the world under this Rajapakse Administration. There is no point in blaming the vegetable trader mafia for this, even though they would definitely have taken advantage and the lack of a cohesive govt. policy on this to profit from.

Records such as this tumble the reputation of the Rajapakse Administration of Sri Lanka, but somehow the mud does not stick on the man here. Why is that? They are able to successfully diffuse the blame on some unexpected event like the floods this time. It is time we realize that there is a limit to passing the buck at one’s failure. It is important that we move forward with the correct policies to give relief to the farmers as well as at the same time that ALL consumers pay a reasonable price for their vegetables. This Govt. just have NO clue how to go about it!!

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