• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka plans to deploy Army, Civil Defense Force, and Prisoners to cultivate food

In the face of the current food crisis, the Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera announced that plans are underway to deploy Army personnel, Civil Defense Force as well as approximately 3,000 prisoners to start cultivations in state-owned lands.

Further, as people have become more interested in-home gardening with the current food crisis coupled with unaffordable prices, he highlighted the importance of further encouraging people to engage in home gardening.

The Ministerial Consultative Committee on Agriculture observed the use of unused paddy lands in all areas including the Colombo District as well as reclamation of paddy lands, construction of buildings, and irrigation problems. Accordingly, The Minister said that it is important to establish a committee at the district level and prepare a proper document regarding cultivable paddy lands and non-cultivable lands.

The Committee also drew attention to the importance of encouraging rural and urban youth to cultivate fallow paddy lands and briefed the officers on the preparation and implementation of a proper plan for this purpose and the assistance of the Agricultural Research Officers for the continuous cultivation of lands which are not currently cultivated, said Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister, at the Committee.

Attention was also drawn to the provision of fertilizer from India for paddy and maize in July and further stated that the distribution of fertilizer will be done in a planned manner as well as identifying priorities.

The Committee also drew attention to the damage to the crop and stated that a progressive report should be prepared in this regard. The Committee pointed out the importance of conducting agro clinics island-wide to impart the knowledge required by the people, especially in home gardening activities, and the officials should take active steps accordingly.

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