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First model SORJAN cultivation project will commence in Kiribathgoda

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The first prototype Sorjan project under the present government was launched today (21) near the Kiribathgoda walking path.

This project has been initiated jointly by the Land Conservation Project of the Ministry of Environment and the Kelaniya Divisional Secretariat. This project has been initiated with the objective of cultivating the lands which could not be cultivated due to floods and the lands which could not be cultivated due to high salinity under this sorjan system.

At present there are a large number of uncultivated fallow paddy lands in our country. According to Department of Land Use statistics, by the year 2018, 40,356 hectares of paddy lands had been abandoned island wide and 12000 hectares of paddy lands in the Western Province alone had been left uncultivated. This is due to various physical and social factors. Due to the abandonment of paddy fields, the lands are being degraded due to the spread of plants such as acacia weeds.

The Sorjan project was launched with the theme of World Soil Day, which falls on December 5, 2021, and the theme of the day was “Let’s Increase Land Productivity through Salinity Reduction”.

Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment was the Chief Guest at this occasion while Ministers Prasanna Ranaweera and Lasantha Alagiyawanna were also present. Many officials representing the Kelaniya Divisional Secretariat and the Ministry of Environment also participated.

The Minister of Environment stated that in addition to the Rs. 2.5 million currently allocated for this project, the Ministry of Environment will provide the funds required for the cultivation of the entire paddy field.

The establishment of this demonstration site commenced today using a 04 acre land in the Thalawathuhenpita North paddy field which has not been cultivated for about 40 years near the Kiribathgoda walking lane in the Kelaniya Divisional Secretariat Division.

Speaking further Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the country could face a severe famine next year. Therefore, the Minister said that he had submitted a Cabinet Memorandum to the President proposing to launch a cultivation campaign at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (20) to face this as a government.

His Excellency the President responded positively and said that as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Green Economy appointed by him, he would present a Cabinet paper next week to launch a cultivation war next year.

Experts predict that next year we will face a famine due to the current fertilizer crisis, crop failure due to floods as well as the global food crisis and the shortage of dollars to buy food. Therefore, the Government should extend to all Ministries, Departments, Corporations, Provincial Councils, Provincial Councils. The local councils should go for a massive cultivation campaign using the full contribution of the farming community. Also, the support of all opposition groups in Parliament should be sought for this.

The relevant Cabinet Memorandum will be presented to the Cabinet next week, he said.

Mee saplings were also planted around the place.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 – 13:38

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