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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

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CIC Agri where humanity and agri business go hand in hand

The CIC Seed Farm at Hingurakgoda, located in the Polonnaruwa District, will be asweddumizing 50 acres of paddy this year.

P.M.D.Jayalath

CIC Agri Produce Outlet at Hingurakgoda. Pictures by Saliya Rupasinghe

Manager Livestock and Highlands of the farm, P.M.D.Jayalath to Daily News Business that the farm’s yield will be also increased.

CIC farm is one of the largest seed paddy production farms in Sri Lanka. The total extent of the farm, which is acquired from the government in 1998 on long term lease, is 1300 acres out of which 700 acres are under paddy cultivation.

The farm receives irrigation water from the Minneriya reservoir to produce high quality seed paddy. The highland area of the farm is utilized for the production of perennial crops and livestock. CIC Seed Farm has absorbed modern agricultural technology and enhanced mechanization with protecting traditional Sri Lankan knowledge as well as conventional agricultural methods.

The paddy area, which is of the total extent of 750 acres, annually produces around 130,000 bushels and the farm’s contribution to the national seed paddy production is 20%.

Ten popular paddy varieties, with various age groups, recommended by the Agriculture Department are grown in the farm. These varieties are categorized by grain size, as long, short and small grains and by rice colour, red and white.

Paddy fields at the farm

Banana plantation

“When CIC took over the management of the farm in 1998, the average paddy yield, which was around 60 bushels per acre, has gone up to an average of 140 bushels under the new management.”

“A network of the out growers in the area is utilized to produce high quality seed paddy by providing technical know- how using the farm as a nucleus. Seed produced in the farm along with the out grower production is distributed throughout the country,” Jayalath said.

The farm is conducting special research trials with the Agriculture Department for testing rice varieties. The farm also has 40,000 bushels of paddy storage capacity. Paddy drying at the farm is a crucial factor to keeping the viability of the seed firmly since 100% of the paddy harvested is for seed. The farm uses a special seed dryer for drying paddy under standard conditions. Sun light is also used for drying paddy under good weather conditions and the required infrastructure such as drying floors is available at the farm.

The seed paddy produced in the farm is cleaned using state-of-the-art processing machines imported from Germany to meet international quality standards. The capacity of seed production is 200 bushels per hour.

“The CIC Farm has one of the finest buffalo herds in the country with high yielding breeds such as Murrah and Nisi Ravi for milk production and breeding,” said Assistant General Manager Crops and Livestock Chamila Senanayake.

“We produce Sri Lanka’s best quality curd which is made under very hygienic conditions and sold in all reputed supermarkets. The farm is supplying many star class hotels with curd. The farm is equipped with a laboratory and a milk processing centre and the milking is fully mechanized.

Thirty acres of high yielding quality grass and fodder is grown under sprinkler irrigation to feed the buffalo herd,” he said.

The farm has fifty acres of banana plantation planted with Cavendish, Ambun and other varieties and CIC is exporting them to Europe and other countries assisting the country in its drive to expand exports. A special irrigation system has been introduced for irrigation and fertigation.

Dry zone vegetables are grown under modern technology at the farm. The latest introduced hybrid vegetable varieties and modern irrigation systems such as sprinkler and drip are used efficiently.

“We are producing fresh green and clean vegetables to our own supermarket chain and other eminent supermarkets,” Senanayake said.

Seed Paddy Processing Complex

Worker tending papaw tree

Fruit plants such as mango, guava, orange and lime are produced in the plant nursery to supply quality planting materials to farmers and are sold through the company sales outlets and dealers. The Hingurakgoda mango plantation is one of the most important gem plasma collections of Sri Lanka.

The first plants of several commercially important mango varieties such as Willard, Karthacolomban, Vellei Kolomban, Ambalavi and Neelum were planted in the Hingurakgoda Farm. The Hingurakgoda Willard is one of the popular hereditary varieties and discovered by Hingurakgoda farm.

Many mango trees are quiet elderly and the farm management has made arrangements to replace them gradually.

The farm has 60 acres of coconut, majority young plants that will come into full bearing in three years. The CIC Farm also has 20 acres teak as a forest plantation and a five acre Gliricedia plantation.

It is heartening to note that the private agri sector is also offering a big hand to the development drive of the country.

CIC Agri Business, with their diverse interests, are on the correct path, helping the country with ‘humanity’ while helping themselves.

 

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