Divi Neguma facilitates agricultural revolution
Third phase commences on April 5 :
People growing vegetables in their own gardens
The initiation of the Divi Neguma programme facilitated an
agricultural revolution in the country. The third phase of the Divi
Neguma programme will commence on April 5. Prior to the launch of the
third phase, a house to house survey to identify the priorities and
needs of the people will be conducted. For this task, every house will
be visited by three officers, namely, from the following categories,
Grama Seva Niladhari, Samurdhi Animators, Agricultural Officers,
Agricultural Consultant, Tea inspector, Rubber inspector, Agrarian
Services Provincial Officers. They will visit houses with community
leaders in the area. This will be continued from March 1 to 31.
They will mainly observe sanitary conditions, possible dengue
breeding grounds, identify fallow lands in each Grama Niladharai
Division which could be used for cultivation. Emphasis will be laid on
developing the agriculture, livestock, fisheries sectors and other small
The ongoing home gardening programme coming under the Divi Neguma
project will be further extended in several steps to cover two and a
half acre plots of land in promoting the cultivation of vegetables and
fruits and horticulture.
“The programmes lined up we hope will further facilitate the
strengthening of the the national economy”, Economic Development
Ministry Additional Secretary RRAK Ranawaka said.
Under the guidance of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa
the government has drawn up plans to observe the activities of numerous
families' under the Divi Neguma programme 2011. They aim to increase
this number of domestic units in 2012 to 2.5 million.
During the first step the target was one million families. However,
the ministry was able to increase this number up to 1.5 million family
units due to the enthusiastic response from the public.
At the second stage, the numbers grew to accommodate around
2.1million families to the programme. During the third phase the
authorities have drawn up plans to integrate 2.5 million families to the
The government launched the second phase of the Divi Neguma programme
with the massive success recorded in its first phase. The second phase
of the Divi Neguma project was launched on October 27 last year. Over
150 families in every Grama Niladhari Division were provided with a
packet containing seeds of five vegetable varieties to be grown in their
Seed packets were delivered among the beneficiaries by Grama Seva
Niladhari, Samurdhi Animators, Agriculture Officers of every village
under this programme. The Agriculture Ministry had already made
arrangements to dispatch the necessary seed packets and saplings to the
respective areas. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa launched
the programme from the Obawatte village in the Biyagama Divisional
The theme of the first phase of the Divi Neguma programme was ‘A Self
Reliant Household - A wonderful Motherland’. The programme focused on
the agriculture, industry, fishery and animal husbandry throughout. The
introduction of the first and second phases of Divi Neguma programme
were helpful in reducing the prices of vegetables and fruits and also
helped improve the nutritional standards of the people. Under phase II
of the programme, the ministry expected to increase the number of home
gardens up to 2.1 million. The ministry has released statistics relevant
to phase I of the programme. The price of fruits and vegetables has
declined as supply increased with the surplus production of home gardens
while most of the people have started to grow vegetables and fruits
under this project.
According to statistics released by the ministry, during phases I and
II of the programme, around Rs 20,000 million has spent under the
agriculture sector for home gardening and distribution of plants,
seedlings and seeds.
"We have drawn up plans to multiply fruits, vegetables and increase
animal husbandry with fisheries," Divi Neguma Director Jayantha Herath
said. Banana, papaw, Kiriala, Ginger, lime, pepper are the main crops
the authority has selected for cultivation. The ministry will provide
saplings, menu or fertilizer, seeds, trainee labour and poultry
facilities free of charge.
The ministry provides saplings in free of charge for commercial
purposes . The Economic Development Ministry expects to grow, every
fallow inch of land in the countrywide by reaching global targets, while
eradicating hunger and poverty in the country.
The theme of the third phase of the Divi Neguma is 'Divi Neguma for
the whole country'.
The ministry has identified seven crops which could be stopped from
being imported. These crops are green gram, black grams, maize, chilies,
gingerly, and peanuts. By now every programme of the Divi Neguma has
been a grand success. The country is self-sufficient in maize, soya, udu,
The ministry has planned to provide half of the expenditures for
growing home gardens, to householders under the Divi Neguma programme.
The Divi Neguma programme will be implemented with the participation
of many ministries. The Ministry of Agriculture, Agrarian Services and
Wildlife, Irrigation and Water Management, Environment, Indigenous
Medicine, Health are some of them.
The Economic Develop Ministry has drawn up plans to complete every
awareness programme to mark the Divi Neguma during March. The workshops
are held at Divisional Secretariat level.
The Divi Neguma programme will be implemented in three sectors,
namely, agricultural projects, livestock and fisheries and cottage
industries. The ministry will provide packets with 10 varieties of seed
to house holders under the third phase. This will be one of the major
projects in the country's development programme.