The prevailing drought could result in a food shortage in the future, warns the Agriculture Ministry.
As a measure to prevent the impact to an extent, agriculture minister Mahinda Amaraweera sought permission at the cabinet meeting to release reservoir water to farmers.
However, the power minister rejected the call, saying that that could lead to power-cuts.
Siding with the latter, the cabinet discussed granting a drought relief to farmers instead.
In the meantime, Amaraweera has asked that priority be given for green-pea and cow-peacultivation in an intermediate season due to the water shortage.
Hambantota and Polonnaruwa are among the few districts that have been identified for cultivation during the period between the ongoing Yala season and the Maha season.
The minister also instructed agrarian and agriculture authorities to encourage farmers to cultivate short-term crops to face a future food shortage.