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Rs. 2,200 Mn allocated for Youth Agri Entrepreneurship Village Programme

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The Agriculture Ministry has spent 2,200 million rupees for the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Village Programme within a period of two months.

The development of Sevanagala Nugegalaya Village as a youth agri entrepreneurship village began yesterday (18) under the programme of developing 11 villages in the island as youth agri entrepreneurship villages by the Agriculture Ministry.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Foreign Employment State Minister Jagath Pushpakumara and Education State Minister Vijitha Beirugoda and other officials from the Agriculture Ministry participated.

Repairing of the surrounding tank system also started here and steps were taken to provide many benefits to the farmers.

The Agrarian Development Department, Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Board, Hadabima Authority, and foreign funded projects under the Ministry have spent money on various programmes that benefit the people.

The minister expressed his views: “The Youth Agri-Entrepreneurship Village Programme was implemented to attract the youth community to agriculture. More than 80 percent of the farmers in our country’s agriculture are over 50-years-old presently. The youth community is about 20 percent. Nowadays, there is no idea of agriculture as a career that can be developed among the youth. Therefore, there is a tendency for them to look for other Government jobs instead of agriculture.

“But we are introducing the new technology needed for agriculture to the youth community under the Youth Agri Entrepreneurship Village Programme. And we provide facilities to sell their products. Agriculture in this country can attract this youth community only by developing it as an export-oriented agriculture rather than a subsistence level agriculture.

“Under this new scheme, we are providing a 50 percent subsidy for cultivation in the PolyTunnel. The Government will provide an amount of Rs. five lakhs and the remaining five lakh rupees will have to be borne by the entrepreneur. Also, for animal husbandry, and other vegetable and fruit cultivation, we provide all the plants, seeds and technology needed by young entrepreneurs for free”.

The minister also stated that these villages will be developed in several stages and plans have been made to export all the products of these villages.

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