Apr 11, Colombo: President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to commence a project to cultivate 600 acres of maize in order to provide relief to the farmers in the Puttalam District who were unable to cultivate due to the severe drought prevailing in the area.
The project was launched to provide relief to the paddy farmers in Puttalam District who were affected by the drought during the past two cultivation seasons by successfully shifting to cultivate maize and other subsidiary food crops in their fields during 2017-18 Maha season using the limited amount of water from the Inginimitiya irrigation tank since the cultivation of maize and peanuts requires little amount of water.
The farmers have cultivated maize in 600 acres and peanuts in 400 acres throughout the district.
The project conducted under the Food Production National Programme operative under President's office.
Under the National Food Production Program, the President's Office will deploy grants efficiently to the benefit of framers and consumers and Rs.16.64 million has been allocated to implement projects in the Puttalam District in 2017. The affected farmers were given necessary funds and Pacific 984 maize seeds free of charge under this program.
The number of beneficiaries of these projects are 520 farmers in the area. This is their first time experience in the cultivation of food crops during Maha season under the Inginimitiya irrigation project.
The Ceylon Agro Industries Limited is ready to buy one kilo of maize plants at Rs. 7.50 and dry seeds at Rs.45.
In addition, assistance has been provided to farmers for the cultivation of additional corps. A project on pumping water by the solar power and a program of distributing multipurpose weed suppressing rotary system small scale machinery and a program on providing incentives to young agricultural entrepreneurs will be conducted.