Agriculture Sector Modernization Project is optimistic that it would be able to fulfill 21.2 percent of the country’s total chillie requirement through its newly started chillie cultivation drive.
A group of media men visited successfull chillie cultivation in Ketakala, Thalawa in Anuradhapura on last Saturday and Sunday.
The annual chillie requirement in Sri Lanka is around 5000 Metric Tons. The volume of dried chillie imported during the year upto date is 28,612 Metric Tons and the government expenditure for same is Rs.18,556 million.
With the objective of saving this large sum of money, the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project has taken steps to promote chillie cultivation by providing modern technology and equipment to farmers.
Chillie has been cultivated by using modern technology in 1600 acres in Anuradhapura, Kandy, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Moneragala districts under Agriculture Sector Modernization Project being implemented under World Bank and Europe Union assistance.
Accordingly, facilities have been provided for 3500 farmers to undertake chillie cultivation. At present they are producing 12,800 Metric Tons of chillie which being equal to 21.02 percent of country’s overall chillie requirement.
One farmer could earn a profit ranging from Rs.1.4 Mn. to Rs.02 Million from ½ acre cultivation with the use of chemical fertilizer and agro chemicals.
Agriculture Sector Modernization Project has planned to expand the cultivation by another 200 acres in the coming Maha season.
Authorities of the Project said that a farmer cultivating chillie in one acre earn an income between Rs.5.0 Mn. to Rs.7.4 Mn. within 06 month period thanks to the utilization of Modern Technology.