All uncultivated paddy lands to go under the plough - Minister | Daily News

All uncultivated paddy lands to go under the plough - Minister

Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that a programme will be launched to take over all paddy lands that have been left uncultivated throughout the country for cultivation of food crops, for a period of five years.

The Parliamentary Consultative Committee Meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture was held last Friday (10) at the Parliamentary Committee Room. Several Members of Parliament who participated in the discussion inquired from the Minister regarding the cultivation of uncultivated paddy lands in Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said that a special programme will be launched regarding the paddy lands that have not been cultivated at present. The Minister said that the Department of Agrarian Services will identify these paddy lands and hand them over to those who have not had land for cultivation for five years and steps will be taken to give priority to the youth who do not have land to cultivate and are interested in it.

“People who own many barren paddy fields are living abroad. Others do not cultivate the land because of labour shortages. At present we estimate that there are more than 100,000 hectares of fallow paddy lands islandwide. Most of them are in the Western Province. The extent of fallow paddy lands that can be cultivated is more than 50,000 hectares. There are about 20,000 hectares of paddy lands that are not suitable for cultivation.”

“When I was the Minister of Agriculture in 2018/19, I took steps to cultivate 27,000 acres of barren paddy lands. Accordingly, plans have already been made to replant more fallow paddy lands in the next Maha season. Grains such as green peas, soybeans, corn, and cowpeas can be grown in many barren fields. In some swampy paddy fields, the Shojan system can be used to grow vegetables and fish. I have already discussed all these with the officials and are taking the necessary steps,” he said.

Secretary to the Ministry Rohana Pushpakumara, and Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture officials were also present.

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