Batticaloa hit by worst drought since 1938
[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 12:05 GMT]
Batticaloa has been hit by the worst drought to afflict this rice-producing district since 1938. Rice cultivation will be severely affected by the prevailing drought, agrarian service officials in the eastern district said. Thousands of acres were sown this season in expectation of the monsoon rains.
Large tracts fertile paddy fields in the district that lay abandoned during the war were cultivated again after the Liberation Tigers and Colombo signed a cease fire agreement in February last year.
The rainfall recorded in the district during the sowing season in December last year was 774.5 millilitres. But this year it dropped drastically to 62.9 millilitres in the December sowing season, officials said.
Considering the dire consequences of the drought, the Government Agent for the district has asked the Insurance Corporation of Sri Lanka to prepare payment for farmers who are insured.