Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Govt. embarks on Rs. 31 b National Home Gardening Revolution today

The cash strapped  Government will  embark on  the ‘Haritha Deyak’ – National Home Gardening Revolution today, with an investment of Rs. 31 billion to expand agri crop production.

It will be conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture to benefit 1.2 million urban and semi-urban families to ensure food security.

The agriculture department has tried to promote home gardening a number of times in the past, but with little success. The current concerns around household food security have caused a wave of their own, making it likely that this programme will succeed

The programme  aims to provide the basic requirements for gardening to households and public areas with a view to increase agricultural production, whilst increasing the nutritional quality of the produce through which the Government plans to increase self-sufficient food production. 

In addition, growth of pesticide-free nutritional food produce will be a key aspect of the project.

Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa explained on the project noting that each household would be provided with up to Rs. 2,000 in basic necessities including seeds and a proper set up for gardening with additional knowledge on the crops provided to ensure the success of the activity. 

A total of 155 families are slated for the initial stage of the project that will start today, at a selected home garden in each Grama Niladhari Division of each Divisional Secretariat. Public officials, beneficiaries of the program and representatives of community organisations are expected to participate at multiple Divisional Secretariats. 

Minister Rajapaksa also said that the national project is meant to create awareness on gardening through leaflets and other educational materials was a success.

He believes that every household in the country, irrespective of location would participate in the program. 

The Minister also appreciated the support received from other ministries, departments and other State agencies that contributed towards the success of the program. 

He said the initiative will be continual into the future with the goal of adding 2.2 million gardens to be able to ensure self-sufficiency in food by having an additional 275,000 acres of land for agricultural produce.

Agriculture Ministry Secretary D.M.L. Bandaranayake explained the inner workings of the project. Based on the area the plants provided will differ, for example two coconut plants will be provided for a household in an area where coconut plantations are prevalent. 

Vegetable plants prepared by Samurdhi Nurseries, 40 plants per household will be distributed to the beneficiaries in each Grama Niladhari Division as much as possible with other parties providing packeted seed and other crops, with 1,441 Grama Sevakas being involved in the project.

The ideal land area for gardening is households with around 20 perches of land. However, the opportunity to enter in to the program is open to all and there was an open invitation.

The program is not limited to private land, but also State-owned areas as well. 

Land Minister S.M. Chandrasena said that the Government institutions will be expected in the program including Divisional Secretariats, public schools and Buddhist places of worship and other notable public locations with the larger goal of including Government employees as an active part of the program increasing the overall scope of production.

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