By Shezna Shums
The National Farmers Week will conclude today (5 August). This is the first such national agricultural event that was held in the Northern District at this level during the last three decades.
Thousands of school children from the Northern and Eastern Provinces attended the event, which saw private and public agencies showcasing the latest technologies and trends in relation to farming and agricultural products.
Additional Secretary Ministry of Agriculture S. Amatiyagoda said that over 20,000 people were visiting the exhibition per day, which includes school children and persons involved in agricultural practices.
A special seminar was also held yesterday, which was attended by over 500 farmers who received the opportunity to listen and learn from agricultural scientists from the Peradeniya and Rajarata and other universities as well as officials from the Department of Agriculture, the event was held at the cultural centre Vavuniya.
The farmers were educated on the new theologies and trends that would be suitable for farming in the Northern Provinces. Issues regarding arsenic in fertiliser and other fertiliser methods were also discussed. With the end of the war, the Government is promoting more people to go into the agricultural business to improve the country’s food supply.
Paddy, onion, tea, pulses and vegetable cultivations are being increased in this district and during the last two years, the Northern District saw an additional 96,000 hectares of paddy land being cultivated and added to the national supply as well as an increase in cultivation of red onion and black gram.
“After the war a large extent of land is being cultivated and the Government’s new fertiliser subsidies as well as ploughing material grants are further helping to improve cultivations,” said Amatiyagoda.
Yesterday (4 August) was solely dedicated to agricultural technologies, he stated, with Governor of the Northern Province Major General P.A. Chandrasiri and MP Namal Rajapaksa visiting the exhibition.
Other visitors during the week included Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadde, Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena as well as the Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne.