Apr 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's youth have been empowered to get connected with the export trade using mobile phones and internet at present, instead of mere traditional agriculture, President Maithripala Sirisena says.
A number of organizations are in operation to provide loan facilities and guidance for the youth to embark such initiatives and give a new facelift to the traditional agriculture, the President said addressing an event on Saturday at the public grounds in Anuradhapura.
The event was organized under the patronage of President Sirisena to provide agricultural equipment to the farmer organizations free of charge in line with the National Food Production Programme.
As an initial step of promoting modern technology in the agriculture field, the new equipment were distributed among the farmers who represented all the provinces of the country.
Speaking at the event, the President said it is compulsory to equip the farming communities with the cutting edge technology to improve country’s agriculture and achieve the development goals of the country. He said the government has devised a plan to fulfill the goals.
President also said that the future development goals can only be achieved through implementing programs to develop the agricultural sector. He recalled that the Api Wawamu - Rata Nagamu (Let us Grow – Develop the Country) project implemented during his tenure as the Minister of Agriculture helped to encounter the food crisis successfully.
The President also reminded that during the campaign of the local government election of 2013, many promises were given to provide relief to the drought hit people at the public rallies and media outlets with full page paper advertisements under the guidance of then leaders and no promise was redeemed following the election campaign.
President Sirisena said the current government is implementing a well-devised plan to provide relief to the victims of the recent drought and it is the most comprehensive relief package that was ever granted to the drought victims.
While responding to the allegations that "though a son of a farmer has ascended to the power, no service has been rendered to the farmers," the President said that he has first-hand experience on agriculture and the farming communities and a proper plan is underway to connect the farmers to state of art technology and creating a generation of farmers who entertain strong economic background and are rid of debt burden.
A string of programs including, providing remittances to farmer organizations, presenting long service awards to the employees of the Institute of Post-Harvest Technology, presenting certificates to the beneficiaries of the training programs conducted by the Institute of Post-Harvest Technology, distributing equipment to manufacturer organic fertilizer, providing loan installments of “Sara Lanka" program was held under the aegis of the President.