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500 development projects to uplift rural community

COLOMBO: Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Ministry has implemented a special project "Randahadiya Nil Diyawara" to streamline the rural agricultural sector.

The objective of this project is to assist the rural community in their agriculture activities and uplift their living conditions, Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told the Daily News yesterday.

The Ministry has already allocated Rs. 53 million to implement the project this year, she said.

According to the Minister 500 agriculture development projects will be implemented throughout the country during this year. Of them 237 projects have already been started in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala, Hambantota, Badulla and Moneragala districts. A sum of Rs. 26 million have been spent to implement these 237 projects.

Priority will be given to provide irrigation facilities to the farmers, she said.

The Ministry through these 500 agriculture development projects intends to cultivate 9000 acres of lands benefitting nearly 10,000 Samurdhi families. Each project once implemented will assist Samurdhi beneficiary families in the respective area to improve their income generation avenues, the Minister said.

As planned in the project, irrigation canals, anicuts, small tanks, agriculture wells and high elevation water tanks will be constructed to overcome the water problem of farmers. In addition, steps will also be taken to renovate the above irrigation networks in these districts.

"As a special feature, each agriculture project to be implemented has been identified and decided by the village community. The Ministry has decided to make payments for skilled labour and technical expertise utilised in these projects," she said.

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