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Agri, livestock projects in State-owned under-utilised lands

Agri, livestock projects in State-owned under-utilised lands

The Government’s attention has been drawn to use underutilised and barren lands belonging to the State for agriculture and animal husbandry to achieve economic revival, poverty alleviation and food security.

The matter was discussed in detail during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication at Temple Trees yesterday chaired by former minister Basil Rajapaksa under the instructions of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Presidential Task Force Chairman Basil Rajapaksa said this measure is expected to increase the monthly income of approximately one million families in the lowest income bracket.

Former minister Basil Rajapaksa instructed the ministry and institutional heads to keep the Task Force informed of the lands under those institutions which could be used in animal husbandry and agriculture.

The Task Force also expects to formalize the ownership of lands that have been granted to various institutions informally.

Basil Rajapaksa further pointed out that the monthly income of 255,731 families in the country is less than Rs 10,000 while the income of 568,715 families is between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000. He pointed out that the Task Force’s aim is to increase the income of one million families including the above families in order to eradicate poverty. During the meeting officials were directed to identify the nature of the lands and the crops that could be cultivated. It was also agreed to urge the institutions to use the lands under them productively.

The Task Force also focused on expanding the home garden concept for family consumption and to provide crops to the market as well. A proper programme to develop the fishing industry including the freshwater fishing industry was also mooted.

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