The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mahinda Amaraweera said that in this Maha season, the farmers of this country will have to face a severe drought in the coming Yala season, even though it has been raining in all parts of the country.
The minister requested the farmers to use the water accumulated in all the reservoirs very economically as the international weather forecasts have confirmed the impending severe drought.
Last Saturday (11) to extend passion fruit cultivation in Hambantota district, the Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority presented 70 farming families with equipment sets required for cultivation by the Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industry, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera.
Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority Chairman Mr. Sarath Chandrasiri Withana also participated in that event.
The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, expressed his views.
The last Yala season can be called the crop season of our hope. After three cropping seasons, we provided all the fertilizers required for paddy cultivation to the farmers. Also, a cash voucher of 20,000 rupees per hectare was given to purchase fertilizers. But due to the natural weather process called El Nino, the farmers had to face a severe drought. Because of that, about 65,000 acres of cultivated paddy fields were destroyed.
All these destroyed fields are the highest yielding paddy fields. Due to the heavy rain that started after that, another 11,000 acres of paddy fields that were about to be harvested were flooded and destroyed.
Even if there is heavy rain now, this situation will not continue. International weather forecasts have been made about the natural weather condition called La Nina that will occur at the end of next December.
Due to this, there will be a severe drought in the upcoming yala season, even worse than the previous yala season. Sometimes there will be a shortage of water so that no crops can be grown.
Therefore, it is important to replenish the existing water. Therefore, it seems that farmers in some areas have not started working on the fields even though they have been informed that they should start the paddy cultivation on time. The result of this is that the fields are finally caught in drought. Henceforth, compensation for crop damage will not be given to fields that are not cultivated on time.
Therefore, close attention should be paid in this regard. If there is not enough water for paddy cultivation in the next yala season, additional crops will have to be resorted to. The Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority today started a program to popularize passion fruit cultivation in Hambantota district. 70 farming families have been selected for that.
They were given the agricultural equipment needed for cultivation today. A similar project is also being implemented by them in Dehiattakandiya area. There is a good demand for passion fruit in our country in the international market. Therefore, in carrying out these cultivation, Hadabima Authority also conducts the necessary training and supervision for cultivation according to international standards. The minister also mentioned that passion fruit can be grown well in areas with dry weather.