A programme has been launched to bring fallow paddy fields under the plough and cultivate ancient varieties of paddy that have a medicinal value. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the Agriculture Ministry has taken measures to purchase such varieties of paddy at a higher price.
The Minister said that scientists had found the medicinal value in these paddy varieties on diseases such as diabetes and many others. It is a two-fold attempt. One is to popularize the ancient varieties in the country. The other is its commercial viability. He said that according to the paddy purchasing policy of the country, a kilo of rice is purchased at 30 rupees while this variety is purchased at 60 rupees due to its value.
The Minister made these observations at a function to distribute seed paddy of Suvendel and Pachcha-perumal varieties at the Yatipila Paddy Field in Mirissa-weligama. Seed paddy was distributed amongst 27 farmers’ wives. It was also revealed that the Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority has successfully launched a project of cultivating 1.5 million home gardens.