Cultivating secondary crops must be encouraged | Daily News

Cultivating secondary crops must be encouraged

Cultivating secondary crops such as groundnut must be encouraged to uplift farmers’ living standards, Agriculture Minister Mahidananda Aluthgamage said.

He opened a groundnut processing centre in Kathiraveli in the Vakarai Secretarial Division on Friday. Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath, Backward Rural Areas Development and Promotion of Domestic Animal Husbandry and Minor Economic Crop Cultivation State Minister Sathasivam Viyalendran, Parliamentarian Sivanesadurai Chandrakanthan, Secretary to Eastern Province Agriculture Ministry Kalamathy Pathmaraja, Agriculture Modernization Project Director R.R.A. Kukan Wijeyakoon, Eastern Province Director P.M.N. Dayaretne, Project Officer Rathiga Ravi, Batticaloa Government Agent K.Karunakaran, Agriculture Department Deputy Director S.Perinparaja and Vakarai Divisional Secretary S.Karan were present.

The Minister said that despite the COVID pandemic, the Government is continuing developmental work. “Financial assistance and water pumps will be provided to 100 families and their crops will be provided with a market,” he said.

“Six farmer societies of Vakarai that cultivate groundnut have been facilitated with a groundnut processing centre worth Rs. 40 million. The centre can separate, roast and packet 300 kilos of groundnut per hour earning Rs. 80 profit from a kilo. Water pumps, plowing machine and ground preparing machinery have been provided with farmers, too,” he said.

“Of Rs. 147 million that was allocated to modernise agricultural system, Rs. 107 million have been spent on a swivel irrigation scheme, water pumps, groundnut seeds and a bridge and roads in Vakari. Because of modern agricultural systems, groundnut production has been increased by 30 per cent in Vakarai,” he said.