President orders ban on use of maize to produce alcohol and ethanol

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered a ban on the use of maize to produce alcohol and ethanol.

The Commissioner of Excise has been directed to issue a gazette notification banning the use of maize for the production of alcohol and ethanol.

President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to ensure a wider market for turmeric, maize as well as cowpea, undu, green gram, sesame and sorghum, instead of granting loan facilities to grain collectors, the President’s Office said.

The President directed the subject Minister and officials to intervene to stop the irregularities perpetrated in the purchase of crops including turmeric and maize from farmers.

“Local farmers have successfully expanded the cultivation of turmeric and maize. Harvesting in the next season is nearing. President emphasized that farmers should receive a fair price for their produce. The Government should intervene to stop irregularities that take place in the stockpiling by traders,” the President’s Office said.

The President has also highlighted the need for a mechanism to collect quality seeds for the 2021 and 2022 Maha seasons. He has also given orders to destroy stocks of turmeric illegally imported into the country.

District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, Commissioners of Agrarian Services and field officers have been instructed to purchase agricultural produce in order to strengthen the farming community. (Colombo Gazette)