Rs.750 mn allocated for big onion cultivation - Minister Aluthgamage | Daily News

Rs.750 mn allocated for big onion cultivation - Minister Aluthgamage

Rs.750 million will be allocated to boost big onion cultivation and achieve a bountiful harvest during the next season, said Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

He said so, at the Matale District Livelihood Development Committee meeting held at the district hotel complex auditorium.

Minister Aluthgamage further said that during the tenure of the previous Good Governance Government led by the UNP, big onion cultivation had seen a sharp decline in the Matale District. Five thousand hectares which had been utilized for big onion cultivation in the district had been reduced to 400 hectares in 2019.

He said the livelihood development and the rural economic uplift programmes are currently being implemented by the Prime Minister’s Office. He noted that as the priority of the big onion cultivation was given to the Matale district before 2014, the farmers in the district were able to produce 40 percent of the annual requirement.

“But unfortunately, due to the neglect of the agriculture activities by the previous regime, all food items including big onions, potatoes and chilli were imported thus discouraging local production,” Minister Aluthgamage said.

“Therefore, the Government has taken measures to stop the imports of big onions, potatoes and chillies to encourage our farmers to grow those crops. However, in the first phase, 2,500 hectares will be used for the big onion cultivation while it will increase up-to 5,000 shortly.”

The Minister also said that the necessary plans have already been made to further enhance the current red onion cultivation in Jaffna and Hambantota to meet local demands. Simultaneously, steps will be taken to increase current seed potato production at the Sita-Eliya farm in Nuwara-Eliya by three fold.

Ministers Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Prasanna Ranthunga, C. B. Rathnayaka, State Ministers Nimal Lansa, Anuradha Jayaratne, Wimalaweera Dissanayaka, C.B. Herath, Central Provincial Governor Lalith U. Gamage, Parliamentarians Nalaka Kottegoda, Rohana Dissanayaka and Ministry officials participated.