100 acre organic chilli cultivation project is being successfully implementing utilizing uncultivated lands of Galabada Estate, Nawalapitiya of the state owned Janatha Estate Development Board. For this project 100 acres were distributed among 200 youths with 1/2 acre each per one individual. Land preparation, water pipe- laying and nursery establishment are now in progress. Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage inspected the project recently at which land entitlement grants and concessionary loans were distributed among youth farmers engaging in this chilli cultivation project.
100% of dried chilli requirement is imported at present. Seed chilli is also imported. Aim of the Government is to save foreign exchange through building up the local economy, This 100 acre organic chilli cultivation project is a part of this endeavor. In addition an organic seed chilli cultivation village has been established in Aluthgama, Nawalapitiya of which reaping the harvest is now in progress. Country’s annual seed chilli requirement is 2500 kg. Aluthgama seed chilli village alone produces 1250kg equivalent to 50% of the national requirement. These chilli seeds are produced in 1500ft long 40 tunnels in seed village, Aluthgama. In addition 200 ft long 20 tunnels in Digampathana, Dambulla are utilized for chilli seed production. Our target is to produce entire annual requirement of dried chillies locally. Youth Population in the estate sector have shown great enthusiasm to engage in chilli cultivation. Their interest, dedication and voluntary understanding is much appreciative. The organic fertilizer requirement for this cultivation is manufactured in the same area and it is expected to distribute the same among chilli cultivators free of charge. All the other facilities are provided by the Government. Youth engaged in the project express their views, too on this occasion.
This organic chilli cultivation project is being implemented under the instruction and guidance of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Development.