The Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera stated that although the Parachute method, which is a very successful rice cultivation method in China, is currently being used in Sri Lanka, the farmers still do not have a proper understanding of that method. Therefore, the Minister instructed the Department of Agriculture to take all measures to popularize the Parachute cultivation method.
The Minister made these remarks while addressing a discussion held at the Ministry of Agriculture last Friday (24).
It was emphasized here that in order to increase the yield of paddy cultivation in the country, new cultivation methods should be introduced. By using the Parachute method, the current yield of paddy per acre can be increased and the income of a farmer can be increased by Rs.35,000 per acre.
Also, the Parachute method is a successful rice cultivation method in all respects due to reducing the amount spent on traditional rice cultivation, reducing the amount spent on fertilizers, reducing the cost of herbicides for weed control and being able to get a high yield from an acre.
Parachute paddy cultivation requires about 350 paddy nursery trays per acre. In this discussion, the Minister mentioned that the government is focusing on providing Parachute nursery trays to all farmers in the Maha season of this year to popularize the Parachute system for paddy cultivation in the country.
Also, the Department of Agrarian Development has allocated Rs.400 million for the expansion of Parachute paddy cultivation this year. Arrangements have been made to cultivate paddy in 13,000 acres under this method. The Department of Agrarian Development has taken measures to provide nursery trays to farmers free of charge by using this money and also to provide technical knowledge to farmers in this regard.
Also, the Minister advised the officers in charge of the projects to provide Parachute nursery trays under the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project (ASMP) and the Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership Programme (SAPP) currently implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture.