The national requirement of dried chillie is 60000 Metric Tons and 100% of the requirement is being imported. In keeping with the Government policy of putting an end to imported economy, the Ministry of Agriculture has taken measures to cultivate 5000 hactares of chillie this year.
2500 kg of seed chillie is needed for this undertaking. At present we are giving every possible assistance financially and materially to produce the thisseed chillie requirement within the country itself. Accordingly, steps have been taken to produce the total requirement utilizing 2000 sqft.in 20 Tunnels in Digampathana and 1500 sqft in 40 Tunnels in Aluthgama seed village, Nawalapitiya in Matale district.
The Minister MahindanandaAluthgamage inspected areas selected for seed chillie cultivation in Dambulla area. At meeting with farmer community there the Minister assured them to extend every possible support to them to make this endeavor a success.
Production of seed chillie is continuing even at present in Aluthgama seed producing village, Nawalapitiya. Arrangements have been finalized to produce all seed chillie requirement for this year. The target is to produce 35% of the dried chillie requirement within this year and to meet 100% requirement within next three years. Our aim and target is to convert the import economy in to production economy whereby saving enormous amount of foreign exchange draining on the import of essential food commodities including dried chillie. That is why steps have been taken to establish two seed villages one in Aluthgama, Nawalapitiya and the other in Digampathana, Dambulla.