Implement foreign funded agriculture projects in effective manner - Minister | Daily News

Implement foreign funded agriculture projects in effective manner - Minister

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has instructed the relevant authorities to take necessary measures to implement foreign funded agriculture projects in a more effective manner.

A special discussion on the progress of active foreign aid and loan projects under the Ministry and the 2021 programme was held yesterday (1) under the patronage of Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage at the Ministry.

During the meeting it was emphasized that foreign aid and loan projects should be carried out in proper coordination with the Central Government and the Provincial Councils. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage instructed the relevant authorities to give priority for the people living in remote areas and their living standard when selecting beneficiary groups for foreign aid projects.

He further stressed the importance of implementing these projects covering all the parts of the country without investing all these funds in a single district.

The Minister further instructed to coordinate with farming communities and other grassroot level agriculture based organisations when selecting beneficiary groups for these foreign funded projects.

"There are 516 Agrarian Service Centres in Sri Lanka. Through this, focus on a practical programme to set up agro-production companies and make the farmers an entrepreneurs. There is a serious problem of the unlimited use of fertilizers which are detrimental for the soil. It is reported that 30 children are born blind per month due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers.

The fertilizer mafia is covering up all this information as 100 kidney patients are discovered every month. These foreign aid projects should be implemented in such a way as to solve the existing problems.

Therefore, while foreign aid projects provide the necessary support for soil testing and the conducting of fertilizer programmes as well as the use of organic fertilizer, those benefits should be equitably accrued to the farming community and to increase the country’s national production,” the Minister said.

During the meeting, a decision to rehabilitate 216 small agrarian reservoirs within this year through special assistance projects implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture was also taken. A number of countrywide programmes are scheduled to be implemented to encourage the farming community to engage in the production process, including seed production for various crops.

Dr. Yasintha Mapatuna said that the Small Scale Agribusiness Participation Programme has been implemented in remote areas to encourage young people to get involved in the agri-trade.

Agriculture Ministry Secretary Retired Major General Sumedha Perera said the coordination of all agriculture related to institutions is essential.

He stressed that the lack of proper coordination of all foreign aid projects in the Central and Provincial Councils has caused many problems and that all information regarding foreign projects should be made known to the Functional Operations Office of the Agriculture Ministry.

It was also emphasized at this discussion that foreign aid projects should be implemented in coordination with the national programme to make the country self-sufficient in 16 crops.