One million jackfruit saplings to be planted

The Agriculture Ministry has launched an island-wide jackfruit and coconut sapling-planting project under the government’s Api Wawalai, Api Kanne food-production drive.

The Agriculture and the Agrarian Development Departments, the Hadabima Authority, and the National Food Promotion Board had implemented the project under the instructions of Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. It has been targetted to plant 1,000,000 jackfruit saplings at agrarian development centres, as well as coconut saplings in a land spanning 1,000 acres. Referring to the issue, Minister Amaraweera told the Daily News that the coconut industry was dwindling due to land fragmentation.

Under the circumstances, it had been feared that in future, the country’s coconut requirement would have to be acquired through imports, he added.

“We have been setting up agricultural crops zones to ensure long-term food security; two mango export crops zones in 400-acre lands in Matale and Angunakolapelessa, cucumber in a 500-acre land in Batticaloa, a 200-acre groundnut cultivation in Mullativu, 16,000-acre undu cultivation inVavuniya, 30-acre papaw cultivation in Polonnaruwa, 37-acre passion fruit cultivation, as well as a 37-acre pineapple cultivation in Moneragala; in order to develop the export market,” Minister Amaraweera added.

He said that in 2017, the contribution of the agriculture sector to the gross national production, had dropped to 7.7 percent. Meanwhile, it had been said at the annual Anuradhapura Agriculture Committee meeting, that plans were under way to plant 35,000 jackfruit plants in Anuradhapura under the auspices of the Agrarian Development Department and the Hadabima Authority.

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