Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Potato cultivation a boon in Ampara District [Daily Mirror]

Daily Mirror, Tuesday 27 February 2007
by M.I.M.S. Anwar - Kalmunai Correspondent
A kilo of potatoes recently fetched an unprecedented price of rupees 1,500/- (one thousand five hundred) at a ceremonial auction to boost potato farmers in Barakath Nagar and Illukatchenai in Akkaraipattu area. Minister of Housing and Common Amenities Ferial Ashraff was the chief guest of the ceremony.

Canadian Agro-Sustainability Partnership organization that undertook development projects in Ampara District refuted the conclusion of Sri Lankan authorities that Ampara district is not suitable for potato cultivation. An expert in potato cultivation from Prince Edward Island, Canada who is drawing up a master development plan for Ampara District proved potato grows well in the district after research. Potato cultivation in Barakath Nagar, Waangamam, Malwatte, Central Camp, and Uhana in Ampara District under his supervision was a success and the farmers reaped a bumper harvest.

Minister Ferial Ashraff, who visited the district on the invitation of the president of CASP Douglas MacArthur, declared open an Information Technology Centre in Akkaraipattu and a Gender Centre of the Oluvil Campus of the South Eastern University funded by the CIDA. Addressing the meeting at Maruthamuni, the minister highlighted the community services of CASP to provide monetary aid machinery and technical knowledge.

She told the media that CASP unlike other organizations is drawing a master plan for sustainable developments in the district. The Minister said, "In the past, ministers and members of parliament launched development projects without planning to meet the requirements of the people. However, President Mahinda Rajapakse's Mahinda Chinthana
programme has emphasized on planning for development. CASP's master plan for Ampara district is intended to meet this requirement."

She further said that she is pleased to work with the Canadian NGO that complies with the requirements of the government and ensures transparency in its dealings.