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Agriculture Dept. earns record Rs. 16 Bn from sale of seeds

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The Department of Agriculture has earned an income of Rs. 1.65 billion from the sale of seeds and planting material in 2022.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had instructed the Department to give him a report on the activities of the Department in the last year and these facts are contained in the report.

According to Minister Amaraweera, the Department of Agriculture has taken steps to increase seed production locally, as the country needs to start a sustainable mechanism to produce paddy, vegetable and fruit seeds.

There is a high demand among farmers for the seeds and planting materials produced by the Department of Agriculture. The Department said that there is a high demand for the two types of chilli varieties MICH-1 and MICH-2, which have been introduced especially for chili cultivation.

Also, in 2022, the Department of Agriculture had taken steps to provide one million seed sets for general home gardens and 500,000 garden sets for government and private institutions.

To reduce the amount of vegetable seeds imported into Sri Lanka through the construction of new safe houses, contributing to increasing the production of local hybrid vegetable seeds, 2.5 million garden seed packs were prepared and distributed to the Agriculture Ministry, Department of Samurdhi Development, Mahaweli Authority and other Government agencies.

At present, the seed production of 19 categories of vegetables is being done in the Government’s seed production farms. Throughout the last decade, the annual production of vegetable seeds has been uniformly at the level of 8,000 to 8,500 kgs and arrangements have been made to further increase that amount in the three years of 2022 to 2024.

By 2007-2009, the basic amount of potato seed produced in Government seed production farms was 330 MT and by 2022, this amount has exceeded 860 MT, approximately a 2.5 percent increase in potato seed production.

The annual potato seed requirement in Sri Lanka is currently 12,500 MT and by 2022-2024, the Department’s farms are expected to contribute 1,000 MT directly, which is eight percent of the seed requirement. Furthermore, the production of 5,000 MT of potato seeds is expected through multiplication in the farmers’ fields, which is 40 percent of the total national seed requirement.

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