Published on Thursday, 21 June 2012 17:17
The government has taken steps towards a massive agricultural development drive in the Mannar district, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has said. The minister has told the Daily News during a visit to the Mannar district organised by the Government Information Department for media persons, the agriculture sector in the area was hampered for decades owing to terrorist activities.
The government launched a rapid irrigation system rebuilding programme to ease the problems of the farming community badly affected by the scarcity of water for cultivation and other purposes, he has said.
The minister has said under these initiatives, three tanks including the Giant Tank (Yoda Wewa) in the Mannar district have been renovated.
“Besides, the irrigation canal system was also renovated to cultivate 30,000 acres of paddy lands and a significant number of acres of other crops. The Economic Development Ministry has allocated an additional Rs 8,000 million for further development of the irrigation system of the Giant Tank,” Bathiudeen has said.
The minister has said that farmers in the Mannar district engage in paddy cultivation only during the Maha season due to the poor condition of the irrigation system.
However, after completing the renovation of the Giant Tank irrigation system, farmers in the Mannar district will be able to cultivate paddy during both seasons, he has said.
“The present paddy harvest will be doubled once the renovation process is completed in the near future. This is a fruitful step of a people - friendly government taken for the betterment of the farming community in accordance with the Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma,” Minister Bathiudeen has added.
He has also said that the government has focused attention towards carrying out another irrigation project based on the Malwatu Oya.
Meanwhile, a housing scheme is being constructed in Omanthai, Vavuniya for public servants in line with the government’s Jana Sevana housing project. Under this project, the construction of 640 houses is in progress.
Each beneficiary is offered a plot of land of 40 perches by the government free of charge for the construction of the house. The government also offers a Rs 500,000 soft housing loan with a grace period for every house owner to be utilised for the construction.
The Northern Province is undergoing major development with infrastructure, livelihood and irrigation projects launched by the government. The phtos shows some of the development programmes in Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya.