Minister of Agriculture MahindanandaAluthgamage issues instructions ;
A special discussion on foreign assistance and foreign funded projects being implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture and related Programme for 2021 chaired by the Minister of Agriculture MahindanandaAluthgamage was held at the Ministry of Agriculture attended by the Ministry secretary, Retired Major General SumedhaPerera, high rankingofficials of the Ministry and Heads of foreign funded projects.
At the discussion it has been stressed the necessity of having proper co- ordination between the central Governemnt and the respective provincial councils with regard to foreign assistance and foreign – funded projects. Minister MahindanandaAluthgamage instructed officials to give priority to difficult areas as well as poverty striken areas in selecting beneficiaries under these projects. All matters relating to foreign funded projects should be brought to the notice of the Ministry. All districts should be taken in to consideration in the selection of beneficiaries who should be mainly the poor people. Avoid instances where the same farmers receiving benefit under 2 or 3 foreign funded projects. Farmers should be equipped with modern technology. Restoration of tarks and anicuts should be entrusted only to farmers sozieties and“ WawaSamithis” without giving the same to contractors whereby circulating the project money among farmers themselves. There are 516 Agrarian Centres throughout the island. Pay attention to a practical programme which make the farmer himself an entrepreneur. Excussive use of chemical fertilizer has become a graveproblem in many ways. It is reported that 30 blind babies are born per month while monthly rate of kidney patients are exceeding 100.Fertilizer Mafia has concealed all those terrible information. Therefore, foreign funded projects should be implemented in the way of finding solutions to these health related problems. Adhere to fertilizer recommendations strictly while promoting organic fertilizer use as far as possible. Majority of foreign funded projects are implemented under credit lines, benefits of which should be given to the poor in a reasonable way and in a productive manner.” explained the Minister.
At the discussion, it was revealed that 216 small tanks in the island are due to be modernized under special projects being implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture in addition to various seed production programmes ensuring farmers contributions to production precess.
Expressing her view at the discussion Dr. (Mrs) YasinthaMapatuna stated that a programme to encourage youths to undertake agriculture trading under small scale agri business participatory programme is now underway targeting difficult areas islandwide.
Expressing his views Major General SumedhaPerera, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out the necessity of coordination of all instritutions involved in agriculture and the necessity of the implementation of all activities relating to foreign funded project with the knowledge of the Monitoring Office of the Ministry because the abcense of co-ordination of all foreign funded projects has led to many a problem.
Further, the necessity of implementing foreign funded projects in co-ordination with the national programme of making the country self-sufficient in 16 crops has also been stressed at this discussion.