Mannar District makes strides in off-season big onion cultivation

Friday, 22 May 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Department of Agriculture (DOA) recently completed a buy-back arrangement on big onions purchased from 323 farmers based in the Mannar District.

The arrangement was initiated when the DOA supplied farmers in Tharavankoattai, Mannar with big onion seeds sourced from Dambulla, polythene for seed bed protection and other necessary inputs. 

The farmers were selected as a part of a program organised by the DOA to promote off-season cultivation of big onions. Over 20 training sessions were conducted with beneficiaries of the program on areas such as proper seedbed preparation, maintenance, and transplanting and plant protection. 

Additionally, instructors and deputy provincial directors from the DOA made continuous field visits to make observations and provide technical advice with regard to the successful cultivation of big onions.

Despite adverse weather conditions across the island that resulted in heavy flooding in many of Sri Lanka’s agricultural districts, the program’s beneficiaries were nevertheless able to successfully cultivate big onion bulbs which were subsequently harvested in order to boost true seed production. 

The project was carried out through the offices of Agriculture Instructor in the areas of Chilavaturai, Thekkam and Uyilankulam and was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with technical assistance and advice provided by the DOA’s department in Mannar. 

DOA Director General of Agriculture Dr. R.R.A. Wijekoon attended the event as chief guest alongside other dignitaries including DOA Director (Extension and Training) R.S. Wijesejara, FCRDI Director Dr. W.M.W. Weerakoon and USAID team leader David Dyer.