The Agriculture Ministry recently launched a programme to set up fruit gardens in schools and religious premises.Under this programme, the setting up of fruit gardens in the Jayewardenepura Educational Zone was implemented in 89 schools last Friday (26th).
The planting of fruit saplings at the M.D.H. Jayawardena College in Thalangama under this programme was held under the patronage of Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.The minster also granted hybrid jak saplings to the teachers and academic staff of the school.Addressing the ceremony, the minister said that at present, a large number of fruits that could be grown within the country are being imported. But no one knows what the pesticides and chemicals used to preserve these fruits are. There is no inspection on this matter.
“Sri Lanka is a country where rice and chili are popularly consumed. A majority of the local chili requirement at present is fulfilled with the imports from India or Pakistan. Last year chilies to the value of Rs. 1,800 crores were imported to the country. Now, it is our plan to curtail the imports and to grow them within the country itself,” he said.He also added that with the new programme launched on Friday, it was his intention to set up a fruit garden in each school of the island. The minister also expected the support of each and person to make that programme a success.
Principal of the school, officers of the Zonal Education Office of Jayewardenepura, teachers, and the students of the school participated in the occasion.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, this programme will be implemented through the environmental circles of each school and students will be assigned to look after each and every fruit sapling planted within the school premises.