The World Food Program (WFP) has appreciated the cultivation of chillies in Galabodawatta, Nawalapitiya based on a concept by Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
The chilli cultivation has been initiated by distributing 100 acres of non-productive lands belonging to the People’s Estate Development Board among the young Tamil communities at the rate of half an acre each.
The yield of chilli cultivation is now being collected by the farmers.
The project was initiated under the One Crop for One Village (Ek Gamakata Ek Bogayak) concept by Agriculture Minister Aluthgamage and Vimalendra Sharan, Permanent Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in Sri Lanka and Maldives, has visited Sri Lanka to witness the cultivation of chillies.
The government’s efforts in making the project a success have been appreciated by Mr. Sharan, adding that it would be important to direct the youth to such alternative sources of income amid the declining of income in the tea plantation sector.
“Higher incomes can be achieved by moving away from traditional farming and implementing value-added projects by introducing such agricultural initiatives. It is also important for those involved in various researches to use such initiatives for their research,” Sharan said.
Commenting on the event, Minister Aluthgamage added that the notion that chilli cultivation can only be performed in the dry zone of the country has now been ruled out by the very project they have implemented. He went on saying that he has selected another area in Nawalapitiya for the production of chilli seeds, which has already been proven to be successful.
Dr. D.B.T. Wijeratna, Additional Representative for the Food and Agriculture Organisation has also joined the occasion.