Chena cultivation to be promoted countrywide | Daily News

Chena cultivation to be promoted countrywide

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera pledged to take steps to promote chena cultivation once again in the country, considering a request made by District Secretaries.

This was discussed at a meeting regarding development plans of the agriculture sector, on Wednesday, at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), under the patronage of Agriculture Minister Amaraweera, with the participation of District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries.

The District Secretaries stressed the importance of promoting chena cultivation, claiming that it is the best way to enhance the production of grain legumes and oil crops.

The chena cultivation is a traditional agricultural practice of farmers practiced extensively in the dry zone. However, the chena cultivation was discouraged claiming that it destroyed forest cover.

The District Secretaries said ancient Sri Lankans had ensured that the environment was unharmed in the process and farmers never burnt thick jungles for the purpose but they burnt only grass and bushes. The government has to spend a large amount of funds for the importation of grain legumes and other oil crops which can be easily cultivated in chenas.

The country had spent Rs. 689 million for the importation of ground nuts in 2017 and Rs. 750 million for the importation of cashew nuts. Rs. 27 million had been spent for the importation of sesame and Rs. 243 million spent for the importation of kurakkan. The country had also spent Rs. 6,627 million for the importation of maize. The entire mustard requirement of the country depends on imports.

Drought resistant crops such as grains, legumes, oil crops and vegetables could be grown in chenas. The chena cultivation is most suitable for Moneragala, Hambantota, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts.


 

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