Agriculture Modernization Project to be expanded in Dry Zone | Daily News

Agriculture Modernization Project to be expanded in Dry Zone

The Government is to expand the ongoing World Bank funded Agriculture Modernisation Project in the Dry Zone with the Anuradhapura District in the forefront.

Agriculture Minister Mahanda Amaraweera recently inspected a number of World Bank funded Agriculture Modernization Sub- Projects including the Rajangane Sour Plantains Cultivation Project and the Eppawala, Ketakala, Chilli cultivation programme which have been successfully implemented.

The Minister also inspected the dry chillies processing and manufacturing plant in the Hurigaswewa, Makuluwa area in Anuradhapura. Around 152,264 Kilograms of Sour plantations are supplied to the market annually by the Rajangane sour plantation cultivation village. Modernization Project Director Rohan Wijekoon said that during the past six months, sour plantain cultivators have been able to earn US$ 28,000 by way of exports.

Minister Amaraweera called for the expansion of activities at the chilli cultivation manufacturing and processing project at Ketakala and Makulewa, since 60% of our national chillie requirement is being imported. Chille farmers told the Minister that a farmer who adopts scientific agricultural development techniques evidently could earn a minimum Rs.7.5 million within six months.

It was also disclosed that the country's dry chilli requirement per year is 57,000 Metric Tons whereas only 7,000 Metric Tons are locally produced.

The national annual green chilli requirement stands at 60,000 Metric Tons, Whereas the local annual production is around 30,000 Metric Tons. Minister Amaraweera said that it has been proposed to promote chilli cultivation in the Mahawilachchiya, Medawachchiya, Thambuththegama, Nochchiyagama, Galenbindunuwewa and Thirappane under the World Bank funded Agriculture Modernization Project.

The Minister further said that the sour plantain and the chilli cultivation projects at Rajangane and Eppawala have brought a good income to farmers adopting new technologies and shifting to recently invested hybrid chilli seeds such as MICA Hy-l, having done away with traditional primitive agricultural methodologies.



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