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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 114

Introduction of chemical free agricultural products envisaged in Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 29 May, (Asian The Ministry of Science and Technology plans to introduce traditional farming methods to produce chemical free agricultural products, which have a good demand overseas.

At present a number of farmers in Sri Lanka have engaged in chemical free farming and produce various agro-products to serve the overseas customers.

“They are getting good prices for their products,” said Professor Tissa Vitharana , Minister of Science and Technology .

Sri Lanka’s Minister Professor Vitharana says at present, the Industrial Technology Institute has developed various technologies, which can support agriculture.

“Most of the technologies assist to minimise usage of artificial manure and chemicals and it would assist to improve soil fertility,” said the Minister.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has plans to assist the local farmers to obtain new agricultural innovations through its technical support arm Vidatha Centres – technology to the village.

He said that his ministry has already held discussions with the academics, scientists and also with responsible government’s institutions to achieve this goal.

The Minister said most of rural farmers now follow some traditional methods to cultivate paddy lands.

“If we can minimise usage of artificial manure and chemicals, our foreign earnings would be saved and we can consume chemical free products,” he said.

“According to the experts, usage of traditional farming systems and non-usage of chemicals and artificial manure would be a threat to reduce quantity of harvest. However within three years, they can increase their harvest, after the improvement of soil. Non-usage of manure and chemicals would save needy bacteria verities which can assist to improve the fertility level of soil and it will assist to bring good harvest,” the scientists said.

Meanwhile a number of new projects would be commenced after the introduction of Vidatha Centres by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to the sources of the Ministry, a number of new techniques and guidelines have been introduced through these Vidatha Centres to educate the rural community on new technology.

Institutions, which work under the Ministry, have now introduced technologies to use rice flour in making many bakery items and other sweets. Also modernizing of old technologies with new technologies have been approached, such as enhancing of kitul yield in eightfold by the Industrial Technology Institute [ITI].

The alternative energy unit of the ministry has focused in providing technology to use Glydiceria wood for generating energy as an alternative energy source.

Under the Sri Lanka President’s vision, the Ministry of Science and Technology spends millions of rupees to popularise science and technology among the rural masses through the Vidatha Centres.

According to the plans, the Ministry hopes to open another 223 Vidatha Centres island wide. The ministry sources said it has already completed opening of 100 Vidatha Centres in various areas of Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

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