Massive crowds throng Agri Exhibition in Vavuniya
Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne views some of the exhibits
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa inspects the Agri
A large crowd of over one hundred thousand including farmers
schoolchildren, teachers, workers visited the National Farmers Week 2011
and Agri Exhibition held at Vavuniya Seed Farm recently.
It was organised by the Agriculture Ministry and opened by Prime
Minister D.M. Jayaratne on the invitation of Agriculture Minister
Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.
Delivering the inaugural address the Prime Minister said that the
country can be easily self sufficient in food, if the Agriculture sector
uses traditional methods and modern technology.
In the past our grandfathers paid no heed to caste, creed, or
religion and they worked hard. That was how Sri Lanka became the Granary
of the East, the prime Minister said.
He said that he was against food imports since all food crops could
be produced locally.
The five-day National Farmer Week and Agri Exhibition was held under
five themes, Farmer Felicitation Day, Youth and Entrepreneurship, Agri
Education, Agri Technologies and Local Food Production.
The final day of the week was held yesterday under the patronage of
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Addressing the large
gathering the Minister emphasised the importance of consuming local food
such as rice, maize, kurakkan and fruit and vegetables.
The main objective of the Divinaguma program is to achieve self
sufficiency in food, the Minister said.
The chief guest on the Youth and Entrepreneurship day Parliamentarian
Namal Rajapaksa said that the young generation in the areas should make
use of the opportunity to expand their knowledge in agriculture . As
future leaders they should give priority to develop the agriculture
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the
exhibition was a step towards a long-term plan for self-sufficiency.
He said that the people in the area need to work hard to make the
North the most agriculturally developed province in the island.
Among the events organised by the Agriculture Ministry was the mini
marathon for schoolchildren. The awards and prizes were distributed to
the winners. A seminars on Food preservation and value addition,
processing food crops was also held at the Vavuniya Agriculture school.
A workshop was conducted by the National Food Promotion Board (NFPB)
on the importance of growing traditional rice varieties and using
organic methods. Over 500 women from all community societies in the area
attended the workshop.
NFPB’s second workshop on soil conservation and methodologies of
using organic methods in crop farming was held yesterday.
Young contestants ready for the marathon
The Exhibition was the biggest agri-event held in the North after 30
long years of LTTE terrorism. Over 100 public and private sector
exhibition centres exhibited their produce, machinery, equipment,
fertilizer, organic insecticides and other agriculture related products.
The National Farmers Week and Agri Exhibition which was organised by
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Agriculture Ministry
Secretary K.E. Karunatileka was a highly successful educational agri-event.