Archive for Agriculture

A courageous mother from Damahana


Vinitha is from Damahana. She is a mother of four and a grandmother of one toddler. Two girls of schooling age, and daughter with child live with Vinitha. The husband of the young married daughter is in jail. The husband is an alcoholic with no regular income. The two girls at school are bright and studious. They have received many awards for good performances at school.
In desperation Vinitha went looking for work and eventually ended up at the farm where she worked for six months and got trained in the process. With the money earned she was able to up keep the family and care for her married daughter as well.


But the work was not easy. Feeding the birds, collecting greens, and tending the garden was all hard work. But the greatest challenge was the mixing of feed. Lifting 50kg bags of raw materials and mixing large quantities of feed each day was strenuous, yet she did it for the sake of the children and grandchild.
In the meantime, her only son, in his early twenties and married, joined the Army. With support from him and the married daughter’s in-laws, Vinitha decided to set up her own pen for broilers. Her husband also pledged support.

vinitha2Today, six months after working on the farm, Vinitha had the skill and confidence to launch on her own. With the encouragement received she and her family today run their own little broiler project.
For now they buy their feed from Balangoda sold at an exorbitant price. It is expected that with the introduction of machinery for feed mixing that Vinitha will purchase her feed from the project. This will reduce her costs by a considerable amount. There are many more farmers like Vinitha and other potential farmers, some temporarily given up but hoping the project will be able to provide them feed at an affordable rate for them to build and develop their own farms.

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The coconut Tree

The coconut which is a kind of plam is a very useful tree. Its trunk raises straight up, some times as high as fifty feets. Its cadjans are spreaded far as in a circle like a crown of a king. The average length of a cadjan is about twenty feets.It grows well only in hot countries, and does best on a sandy shore near the sea. They can be seen, grown very well on the coral islands in the Pacific Ocean .Its fruit are the coconut. There is a white kernel covered with a hard shell and the outer is covered with a husk.

The coconut plam is the most useful tree in the world. The every part of this is used for many purposes. Mostly the coconut is important in every aspect. When the shell is broken; the hollow inside contains a tasty liquid, which is a refreshing and wholesome drink. The white kernel can be eaten as a food and is used for flavouring cakes and puddings. In the pacific island, a great trade is carried on “coppera” which is the dried kernel of coconuts. This contains much coconut oil, which is used largely in making candles and soap. From the strong brown fiber that covers the hard shell of the nut, is manufactured “coir”, which is made into rugs, ropes etc. The shell is used as a cup or carved into an ornament.

From the sap or juice of the tree is made “toddy, a pleasant drink when taken fresh, and one that makes men drunk when it is left to stand for a while. Also a wine called plam wine, is made from it , and a kind of vinegar when boiled and treated in a special way , the juice gives kind of sweet sugar, called “jiggery.”
The leaves are used for making roof of house. And woven into mats and basket. And finally, the wood is used for building and other purposes.

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Reported By Tharindu Lakshan

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Reported By:- Lasantha Jayanath

Trees are an integral part of our environment. Both man and the animals cannot live without trees.
We get food, medicine, wood and shelter from trees. Trees beautify the environment. We get the most needed rain because of the trees. Trees have a great influence upon climate. Trees preserve moisture. The leaves of a tree are always giving off moisture and this constant evaporation cools the surrounding atmosphere. Trees on hill sided stop the soil erosion and prevent destructive earth slips. The soil becomes fertile because of the trees.
We know that plants existed on earth before human beings. This fact proves that trees do not need man for their existence. But man cannot exist without trees.
Trees produce oxygen which is essential for life. Trees purify the air by taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. Some people have not realized the value of trees. They down trees for their needs. Sometimes we need to cut down trees. But we should plant another tree in that place. If we cut down trees in this manner, our country will become a desert before long.
The government has set up a separate department called “Forest conservation department” in order to protect our jungle resources. The department alone cannot stop the felling of trees. Everybody should extend his or her co-operation towards the department in this connection.
The extent of forest cover is Sri Lanka has been reduced drastically during the past two decades. This situation has been arisen due to several reasons. Vast stretches of jungles are cleared for development projects. Some forest reserves have become barren lands due to illegal felling of trees. As a result of this almost all the water fountains have been dried up.
Re-afforestation programmers are implemented by the Forest conservation department annually with the assistance of several non-governmental organizations. Various kinds of valuable plants are distributed free of charge. Seminars and workshops are conducted on forest conservation.
We should realize at least now the value of trees and try to preserve them.

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The Water-Springs of Imbulamura

dvc00319.jpgImbulamura is situated in the Ratnapura district in the Balangoda division.
This village is very prosperous and self-sufficient in agriculture. The springs,
 nature’s gift to the area, is an asset to the village. As a result, when compared
with her neighbours, Imbulamura stands out as a very special place.

The water of the springs is warmer than normal water. This water has plenty of
 minerals causing it to be very brackish and unpalatable. Yet, it is not harmful
for human consumption. People use this water for drinking as well as agricultural

img.jpgThis warm mineral water comes with high pressure through the cracks on the
surface of the earth. We can see it like white bubbles. During the rainy and dry
season the water level remains the same.

It is believed that in ancient times that there was only one large spring in the village.
 According to belief, water used to gush out causing conches (type of sea snail) to
appear with it. These conches had destroyed the paddy. As a result helpless farmers
 had faced many difficulties.

dvc00330.jpgSo the villagers, wanting to stop the spring took large piles of clay and used elephants
 to ram it into the large spring causing the springs to disappear. But as a result of that
several springs have resurfaced in different locations like Imbulamura, Agalekumbura
and Gadakumbura. As a result of that the farmers were able to cultivate their crops once

The water running down from these springs has joined to form the beautifully cascading
 ‘Diyawini Elle’ water fall.


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The “Helmalu” system for paddy Cultivation

The Helmalu paddy cultivation means; to preparation the ground  for cultivating paddy;
As steps by steps like ladders.

                         The prepared land for paddy cultivation

 This preparation occurs in very slopy ground in hill areas.close to damahana E-village the villages
called mawelacan be seen the helmalu paddy cultivation system.

                          Helmalu paddy cultivated from welange area.
      In this villege the people grow Tea for cash crops butthe paddy grows for day today home
consumption.Helmalu paddy cultivation is somewhat difficult task. Because the farmer has to prepare
many small beds.There fore the farmer has to spend 20-30 days finish one term.
But the farmers help each others and work in peace and to their task successfully.
The special thing in this systems are ploushing the paddy land by using cattle’s.The men can do
this with their own hands. In this occasion people use spring water.

                        The anicut for gathering the water

This spring water is not enough for the large areas of paddy land.But there is a small stream flows through this
hamlet and peopleerected an anicut and use as a irrigation.In the past people cultivated two crops. But now a days the
 lack of rain and heavy drought people cultivate only one crop people grow vegetables in some parts
of the paddy lands.

                    Growing paddy land
At present there are some great problems.
1.At the beginning of the stream people make large tank and distribute the water through pipes for
   drinking and bathing to another village called “welange” so there will be no water for “yala”season.
2.The anicut is ruined and water flows in vain.
3.The paddy lands that not enough water,people are going to grow Tea. So that in the near future
    we can see arrange tea of estates in these helmalu paddy lands These are the problems.

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