Paddy cultivation in full swing after three decades:
Jaffna brings 11,000 ha under the plough
For the first time in three decades 11,000 hectares of land came
under the plough with the onset of the Maha paddy cultivation season in
Jaffna last week.
“Hundreds of hectares of paddy lands remained inaccessible to farmers
for decades in the North. Due to the conflict in the region several
fertile paddy and other highland crop lands remained uncultivated.
However, on the initiatives of the Security Forces directed by
Economic Development Minister and Chairman of the Northern Development
Task Force Basil Rajapaksa, the lands in the previous uncleared areas
and the lands in the High Security Zones were cleared of landmines and
other obstacles and handed over to the farmers.
Paddy cultivators had a ‘field day’ with 11,000 hectares of land
coming under the plough last week,” Major Lal Nanayakkara, Coordinator
of the Civil administration in Jaffna said.
Minister of Social Services and Jaffna District Parliamentarian
Douglas Devananda, Governor Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri and the
Jaffna Security Forces Commander Mahinda Hathurusinghe participated in
the Vap Magul, ceremony last week.
“This is another feather in the Government’s cap in stabilising
peace, reconciliation and reconstruction activities in the North.
With the onset of the Maha season in the North the paddy harvest is
expected to be around 30,000 metric tonnes from 11,000 hectares of land.
During the last Maha season the harvest was around 2,531,000 metric
tonnes, Major Nanayakkara said.
He said that 700 hectares of highland crop in the High Security Zone
in Tellipalai and in the Vadamarachchi areas have been made available
for cultivation as those land areas have been cleared of land mines and
Governor G.A. Chandrasiri presented hand tractors and other machinery
to the farmers at the ceremony.
He said that fishing in the Jaffna Peninsula was now in full swing
with the recent resettlement of civilians in the Vadamarachchi East