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Govt. to cultivate paddy and field crops on barren lands


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By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

The Government has launched a program to cultivate paddy or other field crops on the barren lands, which is 130,000 acres. The program launched in October 2017, as a part of the Food Production National Program 2017-2020 has been successful and was in full swing during the Maha Season.

In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture has launched a program with the collaboration of the Western Province, Sothern Province, and the Northern Province to re-cultivate barren lands at a cost of Rs. 34 million.

According to the Ministry, farmers have given up cultivating paddy lands due to the high cost on land preparation instruments, climate changes and water scarcity, labour scarcity and the increased daily payment rates, reluctance of the young labourers to step into paddy fields, market price fluctuations of paddy, becoming a detrimental industry, long-term negligence on maintaining the irrigation channels properly, farmer organisations pay less attention on cleaning the channels, and the wet zone farmers not engaging in fulltime farming.

Using 11,988 staff available at divisional and the village level, the Ministry is now looking at getting the paddy cultivation back on track, providing different types of assistance and facilities from initial preparation to make paddy farming a profitable industry.


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