Use uncultivated land for food crop cultivation

By Thameenah Razeek | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 13 2021

By Thameenah Razeek

The Presidential Task Force for a Green Socio-Economy has recommended that plantation companies should concentrate on using uncultivated land for food crops, that have remained idle for approximately 25 years.

Janaka Wakkumbura, State Minister of Development of Minor Crops including Sugarcane, Maize, Cashew, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Betel-Related Industries, and Export Promotion, made this statement at a discussion moderated by Task Force Chairman, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera. 

According to Amaraweera, plantation firms currently control enormous expanses of land in the country that have not been utilised for cultivation for more than 25 years, and because they have not been used for cultivation, they make no contribution to the country’s economy. He further stated that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had mentioned this during Cabinet meetings on several occasions, and that the President had asked the Cabinet to submit a Cabinet proposal for the acquisition of uncultivated lands. 

Thus, the Government has resolved to provide the best possible assistance to such firms so they take steps to develop food crops on such lands. The committee also emphasised that if they do not act, areas will be recognised, and only those who do not currently have land for cultivation will be permitted to produce their food crops.

 The Task Force also reviewed how some corporations have declared that they will utilise land that has not been cultivated for more than 25 years for various housing schemes, but that such sites should not be used for development in the future. 

The Minister also stated that if existing lands are not managed effectively, the scarcity of land for food crops will worsen. Therefore, the Presidential Task Force deliberated extensively on the procedures that should be adopted to utilise these areas under the plantation firms, with a focus on food crops.

By Thameenah Razeek | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 13 2021

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