Polytunnels and Greenhouses for agricultural sector
The Ministry of Economic Development will introduce Modern technology
to the agriculture sector. Polytunnels and Greenhouses will be
introduced under the 'Yali Pibidemu' project and Gemidiriya Second
Community Development and livelihood Improvement project (GSCDLIP).
These farming practices will be funded by the World Bank.
The project director of the GSCDLIP, S.K. Liyanage said that under
the livelihood components of the two projects, a large number of
agricultural sub projects has been started by beneficiaries. Gemidiriya
operate in nine districts while "Yali Pibidemu" covers 12 districts in
the North and the East and the border districts. This project focuses on
improving the livelihoods of those affected.
The two rural development projects have combined livelihood
development components with the Divineguma program, the concept
envisaged by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa we encourage
beneficiaries to start home gardens or commercial agriculture ventures.
Gemidiriya has vast experience in rural livelihood development projects.
Liyanage said that introduction of modern technology to rural
agriculture is a result of extensive discussions Minister Rajapaksa held
The Minister advised us to seek assistance from experts to address
issues faced by farmers specifically in our projects. We requested the
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya to assist us. The
introduction of poly tunnel and green-house farming is one such
initiative, he said.
Issues faced by the farmer community is common marketing issues, high
cost of production, seasonal cultivation and over supply of products,
excessive use of pesticides and resulting health and environment issues
are among them. Agriculture has become a less attractive venture for the
The majority of farmers who engage in traditional agricultural
practices are over 45 years.
Therefore, introducing technology to make agriculture an attractive
venture for the younger generation is also the need of the hour, he
One farmer will be selected from each Gemidiriya village to set up a
poly tunnel at the initial stage.
The overall target is to set up one polytunnel farm in each GN
division. The total cost of a 510 sq feet green house is Rs. 168,000 and
Gemidiriya will grant Rs. 84,000 while the remaining will be borne by
the farmer. Credit facilities are provided by the Samurdhi Bank and the
Rural Development Bank.
Polytunnel and Greenhouse farming is used to cultivate high value
crops such as bell pepper, tomatoes, salad cucumber, strawberry as well
as a variety of up country vegetables such as carrot and leeks.
Since the initial cost of this modern farming practice is high, the
price of these products too are high and will cater to high-end markets.
Today, there is a limited local market but we expect that it will
expand with the growth of the tourism industry.
There is export potential as well. Cut flowers and foliage too can be
cultivated in greenhouses and it is another area that has a big export