Sunday, August 26, 2007

Akkaraipattu Seed Paddy Processing Centre nears completion

On the initiative of Akkaraipattu Seed Paddy Producers Society, an outstanding problem of the farmers of the Ampara District is to be solved by the establishment of a full fledged Paddy Processing Centre along with a storage facility for seed paddy produced here in Akkaraipattu.

The work on this Rs. 15 million project commenced in November 2006, with funding assistance from the European Union through UNDP Ampara. Construction work is progressing quickly under the technical advises of the Department of Agriculture’s Extension, Seed Paddy, and Certifying Units, and is to be complete early next month.

Two important features of the project, a Seed Processing Machine and Seed Drier are to be brought down from Germany and India respectively. Once the project is complete, the Processing Centre will be in the position to supply 15,000 bushels of seed paddy after processing and certifying to the farmers of the District, helping to further facilitate their paddy cultivation.

A team of Officials from the European Union, headed by Ms. Merce de Torres and UNDP’s Ampara Chief Z.A. Joufer, visited the site recently and expressed their satisfaction after talking to the OIC of the Ampara Seed Paddy Processing Centre and members of the Akkaraipattu Seed Paddy Producers.It may be noted that Ampara District, the rice bowl of the Country, is the second largest paddy producing area in Sri Lanka, with 63,000 hectares of paddy cultivation fulfilling one fifth of the rice production in the Country. According to the Agriculture Department’s statistics, the farmers in the District produce 75% of the seed paddy required by the District themselves. Once this is more fully established, problems confronted by the farmers in the District in seeking quality seed paddy should be solved to a great extent.

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