President tells Diploma Certificate awarding
Govt aims to develop agriculture
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday stressed that developing
agriculture was one of the key components in the Government's future
He said that the Government was looking forward to see farmers as
entrepreneurs. The Government will make all efforts to equip farmers
with modern agro-technological know-how and other necessities to make
farming a professional and profit-making business venture to support
this endeavour, he added.
The President noted that the Government's aim was to achieve
self-sufficiency in agricultural products soon.
He was speaking while handing diploma certificates to 50 farmers who
successfully completed the on line Agro Technology Diploma for Farmers
at the Magampura Agro-Technology and Rural Industries Centre at
A total of 50 farmers who successfully completed the course
coordinated by the Colombo University were awarded diploma certificates.
The President addressing the gathering after presenting certificates
said there was an era in the past where rulers had undermined the
importance of agriculture.
"They thought that they could import all agri-based needs for a
lesser cost, than producing them here. Thus they did not provide money
for the development of the industry. However the advent of a new
ideology with the introduction of Mahinda Chintana changed the trend. We
gave pride of place to agriculture. Today we have implemented at least
one major irrigation project in every district," he said.
President Rajapaksa also reminded the gathering that the Government
while conducting a humanitarian mission to liberate the country from the
clutches of terrorism had also laid the foundation for a future
All mega development projects being implemented would provide direct
and indirect benefits to farmers as well. Farmers would benefit with new
markets emerging to sell their produce at a competitive price, he added.
He said that to encourage farmers, the Government had taken steps to
introduce a pension scheme and also had exempted their earnings from
He noted that institutions such as the Agro-Technology centre in
Hambantota was helping to provide the much needed modern technical
inputs and the professional status the industry richly deserved.
He said that the Government would strive to provide all needs of
farmers and the agricultural industry to make the sector one of the key
components in the country's quest to achieve prosperity.
Ministers Bandula Gunawardena and Mahinda Amaraweera and Colombo
University Vice Chancellor Prof Kshanika Hirimburegama also