We are most grateful to Mr Gerard Chitty of Irasil Foundaiton of Australia for granting financial assistance to improve the quality of paddy seeds to increase rice production of paddy lands in Hambantota District in Sri Lanka.
We have identified many issues in relation to agriculture especially in paddy farming. One main issue is Inadequate income to cover expenditure due to increase in agricultural input prices. Due to the present economic crisis, inability to purchase high-quality seeds has resulted in the decline of yield significantly. The service charges of tractors and harvesters have also increased three times due to increase in fuel cost. Falling prices of paddy at harvest time, exploitation due to monopoly by large-scale traders and increase in wages for workers are some of other issues faced by farmers.
Especially due to the organic fertilizer policy implemented by the government, agricultural production dropped by about 50 percent in the past. Farmers are facing the problem of procuring quality seeds as the price of a kilo of seeds in the market is currently between Rs 200 and Rs 250. The main reason for this is the loss of income due to the decline in production levels in the past. Thus, the production capacity of a cultivated land unit decreases by about 20 percent due to non-use of quality seeds.
Under the above project approved by Mr.Gerard Chitty, (Irasil Foundation -Australia), the Goal and Objectives are as follows:
Minimizing the shortage of paddy seeds at regional level by increasing the production of high-quality paddy seeds.
Increase of family income
Developing the production capacity of a unit of paddy cultivation land.
Minimizing the shortage of paddy seeds in the market
Expanding the opportunities for farmers to use quality paddy seeds
The certified paddy seeds required for this pilot project was procured from a department certified Seeds Paddy Supplier registered with the Department of Agriculture.
50 family units and 04 active farmer organizations representing Siyambalakote, Boraluwala, Welangahawala and Hadawinna villages were also selected in the first phase. Paddy seeds paddy were provided by taking into consideration the factors of the amount of paddy acres cultivated by each of those farmers and the amount of paddy seeds requested by them.
in the first phase, the initial cost spent by the Organization to buy seeds and paddy was collected from the farmers after the harvest of the cropping season and it was agreed to build a revolving fund to buy the necessary seeds for the farmers for the next cultivation season.