Thursday, March 5, 2009

New agricultural projects in cleared areas

Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena said moves are under way to introduce agricultural projects in the cleared areas of the Vanni and fully liberated Eastern Province with the use of international funds.

Minister Sirisena said, "the World Bank, the Japanese Government and the United Nations have pledged millions of dollars to commence agriculture projects in the cleared areas to upgrade the lives of Tamil civilians who live in the North and the East regions. He said the Ministry has already taken a number of steps to organize the public in areas cleared by the Security Forces to start agricultural projects.

The Agriculture and Agrarian Services Ministry has given away 100 tractors among paddy farmers in the area. We have also provided them with farm equipment and implements, to start their farming activities.

We also distributed seed varieties among them. Steps have been taken months ago to set up Govi Jana Seva Centres in the Eastern and Northern Provinces. Most of the programs have been implemented in the Eastern Province. Steps will be taken to introduce bigger agricultural projects to increase the country's rice production once the Security Forces have fully liberated the Vanni with its humanitarian operations.

The cost of rice varieties now available from Rs. 54 to Rs. 70 are expected to rapidly go down once new agricultural projects have been established in the North and the East."