First toxic-free food production centre to be set up – Gamlath

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021
FT First toxic-free food production centre to be set up – Gamlath

Measures will be taken to develop Sri Lanka’s first organic agriculture zone of Moragahakanda Organic Agriculture Zone as the first model toxic-free food production centre in the country, State Minister of Canals and Common Infrastructure Development in Settlements in Mahaweli Zones Siripala Gamlath says.

 The State Minister points out that the groundwork for the project has been laid. He was participating in an official tour of the Moragahakanda Organic Agriculture Zone yesterday (17). 

The State Minister said steps have been taken to develop the area as a tourist attraction. He also joined in a farmer awareness campaign on the importance of the use of organic fertiliser in protecting health, social and economic factors.

The campaign was held on the sidelines of the Mahaweli Organic Home Garden Battle. During the tour, the State Minister instructed his officials to take swift action to solve the problems of the farming community such as wild elephant threats, irrigation management issues, and finding a prospective market for organic fertiliser production. Agricultural implements worth Rs 3 million were also distributed among 45 farmer families in the area during this visit. 

In addition, 180 barrels to be used in organic fertiliser production, 15,000 parachute plates, 24 insect repellent nets and 500 coconut seedlings were districted among the farmers. State Minister Gamlath inspected two organic fertiliser manufacturing projects at Guruwela and Wallewela in the Moragahakanda Organic Fertiliser Agriculture Mahaweli Zone. 

These successful organic fertiliser projects will be used to provide necessary knowledge about manufacturing organic fertiliser to the farmer community. Moragahakanda Mahaweli Zone was declared as a Mahaweli F Zone by an Extraordinary Gazette in 2020, and it is especially used for organic agriculture. 2,600 families who lost their ancestral property after their lands were acquired for the Moragahakanda and Kalu Ganga projects have been relocated to this area. The entire zone including the tourism zone is 5,600 hectares in extent. 1,441 hectares have been reserved for cultivation.

 Drinking water is provided by the water resources originating from the Knuckles Mountain Range. In addition, the State Minister inspected the soil testing programme which is implemented by the Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority together with the Natural Resources Management Centre of the Agriculture Ministry. This programme is introducing suitable crops to this organic zone.

 Immediate measures have been taken on the directive of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the guidance of Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa to develop this area as the first organic zone in Sri Lanka, State Minister of Canals and Common Infrastructure Development in Settlements in Mahaweli Zones Siripala Gamlath said. 

Secretary of the State Ministry of Canals and Common Infrastructure Development in Settlements in Mahaweli Zones Chandra Herath, Agriculture Director General of the same ministry, Chithra Nayana, Mahaweli Agriculture Director Neville Rajapakse, Mahaweli Technical Unit Director T. Ranasinghe, Mahaweli Special Projects Director Kaushalya Wijeweera, Residential Enterprise Manager Hemantha Jayasinghe and several others participated.

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021

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