The Sunday Leader

Bid To Make Lanka Granary Of The East Again

The Government’ aim is to make Sri Lanka the Granary of the East by reviving agriculture which was destroyed during the colonial period, says Basil Rajapaksa, Economic Development Minister.

This would be done while protecting water, clean air, the soil and other natural resources, he said addressing a meeting held on Monday, March 24 in connection with promoting a group of Agrarian Services Department employees to Agricultural Development Officers following a competitive examination.

Those promoted included Agricultural Research Production Assistants, Agricultural Production Project Assistants and Agricultural Bank Project Assistants.  The Agrarian Services Department which was established in October 1957 has 375 Agrarian Service Officers working in its 557 Agrarian Service Centres.

Minister Rajapaksa added that a large sum has been allocated under the last budget for the development of Agrarian Service Centres to make them guardians of the farming community and achieve sustainable development goals.

The tasks of the Agrarian Services Officers include strengthening farms, managing agricultural lands, re-cultivating abandoned paddy lands, repairing small irrigation channels, improving the economy of the farming community and other objectives relevant to the Agrarian Services Act activated under Agrarian Service Centres. At present the Department has about 12,000 employees.

Speaking further the Minister said that since the department covers a large area the government’s aim is to make Agrarian Service Centres institutions that will meet agricultural needs of farmers island-wide Special Projects Minister and Economic Development Deputy Minister S. M. Chandrasena and Agraraina Services Commissioner Sunil Weerasinghe also spoke at the event. Among the others who attended were Economic Development Ministry Additional Secretary Priyantha Mayadunne and Agrarian Services Department’s Human Resources Commissioner Tharuni Gamage.

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