Local fruit and vegetables on show at National Agricultural expo

Tuesday, 9 September 2014 01:41 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Text and pix by P.D. De Silva Local varieties of fruit and vegetables have been given prominence at the National Agricultural Exhibition 2014 which will commence today (9 September) at the Agricultural Research Centre in Theljjawila. The exhibition which will end on the 14th has been organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and is expected to draw large crowds including President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena was seen giving last minute instructions to officials at the exhibition grounds last Saturday evening. “This year’s exhibition will promote the cultivation of fruit and vegetables suited for the district sans poisons and toxins. It is expected that the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides will be zero in ten years time. We have been holding a series of seminars to educate the farmers of the perils of the use of chemicals and been accepted well by the farming community. It is our aim to assist farmers to grow agricultural crops profitably and reap optimal benefit of the available land,” the minister said. “Every variety of vegetable and fruit being exhibited are local varieties and not imported hybrids. They have been grown without the use of any chemical fertilisers or pesticides,” said Director General of Agriculture Rohan Wijesekera. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.