President instructed all Ministers to identify all uncultivated lands in our country and initiate a program to cultivate food crops on those lands, said the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera.
He was addressing a media briefing at the Ministry of Environment this morning (12).
Various intellectuals warn that a food shortage could occur by the middle of this year in our country. Today those who go to the farms are farmers as well as the youth are somewhat discouraged. I presented a Cabinet Memorandum to launch a program to cultivate food crops with the intervention of the Government to address a possible food crisis in our country. The President took a special interest in it. He also informed the Minister of Finance. Accordingly the Minister of Finance summoned all relevant parties and discussed the matter. The Minister of Finance, as the Ministry of Environment, has given us some responsibility to contribute to this.
Accordingly, there are largely uncultivated lands in public sector lands including religious places, police stations, army camps, hospitals and schools. We were instructed to start a suitable program to start home gardening on all those lands. The government will provide the necessary financial assistance for this purpose. We also take steps to grow fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants in these gardens, including Aralu Bulu Nelli, which helps to increase the forest cover.
Also, the Ministry of Agriculture will start cultivating food crops on agricultural lands as well as lands that can be used for this purpose.
What should be done now is not to blame each other. What we need to do if there is a food shortage, we need to address it. It is useless to criticize each other’s shortcomings.
At present there are about 100,000 acres of barren paddy lands. Organic fertilizers can be used for this garden. His Excellency the President instructed to take steps to cultivate 100,000 home gardens under the first step. Therefore, we will commence the home gardening program soon, the Minister said.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 – 13:48