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Sri Lanka: Government plans onion production increase

The Agriculture Ministry in Sri Lanka has launched a number of programmes to enhance the country’s onion production to meet local demand, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said.

“As far as the consumption pattern in Sri Lanka is concerned, onion cannot be substituted by any commodity. Hence, there is a big demand for them throughout the year and the shortage has to be met by imports, spending a large amount of money,” the minister said.

He said the ministry implemented a three year project in all districts except the Western Province to bring new areas under cultivation and resort to off-season cultivation of onion to meet the local demand throughout the year saving foreign exchange.

“The total allocation for the project is Rs 20 million which has been utilised to provide seeds and conduct training for selected beneficiaries. Red onion will be cultivated on 117 acres and big onion on 257 acres. Provisions have been issued to all districts and the selection of beneficiaries has been completed,” ministry sources said.

The ministry also started an onion seed production programme. This programme was first implemented in the Matale district and has now been extended to cover Mahaweli areas in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Badulla districts with no financial burdens to the ministry.

“In the implementation of the programme, primary attention will be paid to the selection of farmers from suitable areas and providing them with technology."

The ministry also plans to produce 450,000 kgs of onions next year with a financial target of Rs 20 million.

Source: dailynews.lk

Publication date: 12/3/2012


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