One hundred farming families in Athiliwewa and Siripuragama areas in the Wellawaya Divisional Secretariat are successfully harvesting Moringa (drumstick) leaves. The farmers who cultivate drumsticks in the area say that they can easily earn around Rs. 60,000 a month.
The leaves of the Moringa trees are obtained and exported to foreign countries. Farmers who cultivate these trees say that there is a high demand for Sri Lankan drumstick leaves in the foreign market. Farmers are now earning a high income due to the market value of drumstick leaves which are sold at a price of Rs. 45-47 per kilogram.
The project which is being implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture has already taken steps to provide the necessary technical knowledge and necessary agricultural equipment to the farming community free of charge. According to the agriculture officials, no disease affects the Moringa trees and they thrive in the dry zone.
Therefore, the farmers are able to carry out this cultivation very easily and in the future, they will take steps to popularise this cultivation in the district, they said. State Minister for Agriculture Sashindra Rajapaksa visited the plantations yesterday afternoon to inspect the plantations and to inquire into the state intervention required. Speaking to the media, Sashindra Rajapaksa stated that all necessary state sponsorship will be provided for these cultivations.
He further said that the government will take all possible measures for the benefit of the farmers and will take steps to strengthen the economy of the people by bringing in foreign exchange by expanding this type of cultivations in the future.