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Dons from Peradeniya University Visit Army Farm at Palaly
[Updated :: 2011-04-06 18:30:10 Hours]

One day workshop on crop cultivation and animal husbandry was conducted by a team of agriculture scientists from the University of Peradeniya for officers and other ranks who are working in the Palaly Army farm run by the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J) on Monday (04.04.2011).

The seven-member team of senior lecturers and researchers from Department of Animal science, Department of Crop Science and Department of Agriculture Engineering of the Peradeniya Agriculture Faculty educated the SF-J soldiers through a power point presentation and outdoor lectures at the farm.

The lectures and practical educational sessions were based on soil conservation, Crop and Water Management, Post Harvest Processing and Livestock Development. Weed control, inter-cropping, crop rotation and following, nursery practices, pest and disease control and apiculture were also among the areas covered during the one day programme.

Prior to commencement of the workshop, those university lecturers who arrived in Jaffna honouring the request of Commander SF-J Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, visited the farm and studied the composition of soil, climatic condition, verities of crops being cultivated in the farm and technology being used. After a thorough study, they recommended the varieties of seeds, fertilizer and the seasons for cultivation in Jaffna. Special emphasis was made on following the crop calendar for a high crop yield. Explaining the present activities at the farm to visiting experts, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe gratefully reminded the assistance given by the Thirunelvely Agriculture Research Institute officials sharing agriculture technology with the Army in this agriculture project. In addition, soldiers are using their knowledge obtained from industrious Jaffna farmers who are using traditional know-how in farming.

Through intervention of agriculture experts in the country to the farming project at the Palaly farm, SF-J expects an improvement of productivity of the farm which ultimately will back the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The visiting team of dons highly impressed with the dedication of the soldiers and improvements so far gained by them at the farm, pledged their support anytime in future.

Present acreage of the Palaly Army farm exceeds 85 in which various types of up-country and low-country vegetables are grown. A herd of cattle of about 80 and nearly 40 goats are also being reared for milk and fertilizer. Approximately 150 soldiers from farming families who volunteer to work on the farm contribute their labour everyday from dawn to dusk.

Prof. C.M.B. Dematawewa, Dr. R. Rambanda, Dr. T. Sivananthevarl, Dr. W. Galagedera, Dr. Saman Athauda, Dr. T.S. Samarakon and Dr. J.K. Vidanarachchi comprised the Peradeniya University team.

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