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Sunday, 3 October 2010

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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 other obstacles.

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 region.

 

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