Gamaneguma launches seed paddy production
The Gamaneguma Second Community Development and Livelihood
Improvement Project (GSCDLIP) last week launched a seed paddy production
program in Polonnaruwa district together with the Polonnaruwa District
Polonnaruwa District Secretary Nimal
Abeysiri and GSCDLIP CEO Karunaratne Pallegedera sign the
MoU to launch the seed paddy production program on 1,000
acres in the district during 2011.
Project Director of the GSCDLIP Karunaratne Pallegedera said that the
program was launched with several objectives. There is a huge demand for
high quality seed paddy, especially after the end of the war new lands
have been cultivated. The farmers face issues as there is no quality
seed paddy and they may fail to achieve optimal productivity. The
farmers are also victimised by the cartels and companies selling seed
paddy at high prices.
This program will also improve the income of the farmer community in
the Gamaneguma villages as the farmers can earn almost twice as much for
seed paddy, Pallegedera said.
He said that according to estimates the annual requirement of seed
paddy is 107,774 tons. In 2010/11 Maha season 110,010 hectares have been
cultivated in the Polonnaruwa district. It is over 10 percent of the
total cultivated area in the country. We have planned to cultivate seed
paddy in 1000 acres, with the participation of 117 Gamaneguma village
organisations, he said.
The Department of Agriculture provides 10-15 percent of the seed
paddy requirement of the country and private sector companies too have a
significant share in the market. According to the Rice Research and
Development Institute (RRDI) high yield seed paddy usage will increase
the yield by 20-25 percent, he said. GSCDLIP has started seed paddy
production in several villages in the Hambantota and Polonnaruwa
districts several years ago under its livelihood development sub
projects. Farmers who engage in these livelihood projects have increased
their income significantly and they have also produced traditional rice
varieties with high demand and high market price.
The District Secretary Polonnaruwa co-ordinates the project ensuring
the support of the other stakeholders such as the departments of
agriculture, agrarian service and the Agriculture Insurance Board. The
program has focused on all aspects of the seed paddy production from
cultivation, insurance and marketing.