Sunday, 30 January 2011

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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 Secretariat.

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.

GW

 

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