Oct 11, Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday launched the fifth phase of Sri Lanka's domestic agriculture program "Divi Neguma" which is aimed at making the country self-sufficient in food and increase the nutrition level and the economic situation of the people.
President Rajapaksa commenced the program by planting a jackfruit tree in the premises of the Temple Trees at an auspicious time this morning. Along with the main event, local planting programs also commenced throughout the island.
The fifth phase of the national program targeting the Maha Season will plant vegetable, fruit, herb and minor export crops covering 14,008 Grama Seva areas in 324 Secretarial Divisions.
Under the fifth phase a program for establishing 125,000 model home gardens will also commence. Agricultural and Production Research Assistants based in Department of Agrarian Development Centers have coordinated in identifying these home gardens.
The program will distribute, free of charge, 1.5 million sets of vegetable seeds and 2.3 million fruit plants, coconut plants, herbal and other plants among selected household units covering all Grama Seva areas. The program will also produce seeds suitable for different geographical locations.
Director of the Divi Neguma, Jayathilaka Herath said the program combines public officials, political authorities and people.
Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella, Deputy Ministers S. M. Chandrasena and T. G. Padmasiri, MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry W. Sakalasooriya also participated in the event at Temple Trees.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)