By Eunice Ruth
A total of 2.2 million families who own lands of less than 20 acres have been selected for the ‘Haritha Deyak’ National Home Gardening Programme. The programme will be inaugurated islandwide today (29) at the auspicious time of 9:18 a.m., said Minister of Irrigation Chamal Rajapaksa.
Addressing a media briefing held yesterday (28), he said the programme’s major aim is to promote local food production.
“Commencing this programme amidst the on-going economic challenges will help people pursue a healthy self-sufficient life where they can harvest fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and legumes from their own backyards. Under this programme, it is planned to distribute four types of seeds and vegetable plants, prepared by Samurdhi Nurseries to the selected households in each Grama Niladhari Division. Furthermore, around 12,000 plants have been prepared by the Samurdhi Department for distribution. This will be conducted in each Grama Niladhari Division with the participation of home beneficiaries and public officers,” said Rajapaksa.
He further said, in 2020, the Ministry has commenced a similar programme and it was a successful initiative.
“Likewise, we expect to use each and every vacant land for cultivation and we expect this initiative will not just be conducted for a specific period of time, but followed in the future also. In addition, each and every household will be given a manual that will guide them on how to grow the given plant,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage addressing the media briefing assured that his Ministry would provide all the necessary support to make the programme a success.