Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Agriculture harvested 100 acres of chillies at the Galaboda Estate in Nawalapitiya under the chilli cultivation project launched to produce the chillies required for the country.
Although the annual requirement of chillies in the country is 5,000 MT, the amount of chillies produced in the country is only 50 MT. Therefore, the Minister has instructed the Department of Agriculture to take steps to prevent the importation of a large amount of foreign exchange annually for the importation of chillies and to produce the chilli requirement locally. Accordingly, the Department of Agriculture has planned to cultivate 3,000 hectares of chillies.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage started the cultivation of chillies as a model cultivation by distributing 100 acres of the economically unproductive Galabada estate belonging to the Janawasama to 100 Tamil youths in the plantation areas.
It has been suggested that chilies grown successfully in the dry zone may be difficult to cultivate and bear fruit under cold climates. Challenging that view, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has started cultivating 100 acres of chillies.