Feb 14, 2017

Crops damaged by drought ; Organic farmers unaffected! Featured

Crops farmed in 115,000 hectares of agricultural land have been damaged due to the dry weather prevailing in 14 districts, the Disaster Management Centre says.

It is estimated the paddy harvest will decline by around 345,000 metric tons as a result.

In Trincomalee district, crops have been destroyed in farming land where agro-chemicals had been used, while organic farmers have reaped a maximum harvest.

Under the guidance of SEMA, around 7,500 acres have been brought under organic farming, said project director Priyantha Pathirana.

Harvesting has taken place in around 1,000 acres, with paddy farmers returned with a harvest of around 80 bushels per acre.

14 districts affected

The Centre reports that 87 divisional secretariat areas in Kandy, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Moneragala, Hambantota, Gampaha and Trincomalee have been affected by the dry weather.

Its assistant director Pradeep Kodippili says more than 483,000 people from 129,600 families are facing water problems.

He says 4,798 water tanks and 349 tractors and lorry bowsers have been deployed to supply water for the affected.

The Met Department forecasts rains in northern, northcentral, eastern, Uva, northwestern provinces and in Hambantota districts.

It says however, considerable rainfall cannot be expected until mid-March.