Export agriculture crops cultivated in A’pura District

The Export Agriculture Department has planned to introduce export agriculture crops cultivation in Anuradhapura District and attract a large number of traditional paddy farmers for the program. Under this program, priority is given to promote areca nut, pepper and cinnamon in the first phase. Simultaneously, this project is expanded to Ampara, Polonnaruwa and Jaffna. The climatic and weather conditions and soil quality is suitable for growing these export agriculture crops. According to Export Crops Director General Dr. M. A. P. K. Seneviratne, Anuradhapura district cultivation program has been initiated with 20 farmers in around 10 hectares. The target is to expand the cultivation to 5000 hectares within three years.

The "Dhana Saviya" Womens’ Home Gardening Project is also successfully launched in Anuradhapura district. Referring to "Dhana Saviya" program, the Anuradhapura District Export Agriculture Crops Extension Officer Chaminda Seneviratne said, that the target was to start 1,900 export agriculture crops home gardens in Anuradhapura district. Already, 1,550 applicants have been enrolled and 405 home gardens launched mainly in Galenbindunuwewa, Ipalogama, Rambewa and Thambuttegama DS Division. According to Seneviratne, so far 11,000 pepper and 1,500 areca nut plants have been distributed among the 405 farm women. The department has extended help to the private sector to start 24 export agriculture crops nurseries to produce required plant varieties.

To a farmer who is taking into export agriculture crops growing in quarter acres of land, 170 pepper, 900 cinnamon and 100 areca nut plants are given on 50 percent subsidized basis. The target is to distribute 6,800 pepper and 55,000 areca nut plants in addition to 210,000 cinnamon plants in the district.

According to the statistics of the Export Agriculture Department, the country's cinnamon production in 2015 was 13,540 mt whereas it has been 14,693 mt in 2016. During 2015 and 2016 the national pepper production was 24,537 mt earning foreign exchange valued at Rs. 30,474 million. 

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