November 25, 2015
The Embassy of the United States of America launched the Youth Farmer Development program in Trincomalee last week through a partnership with the Ministry of Provincial Agriculture and Animal Production and Development (Eastern Province), the Office of the Government Agent, CIC Agribusiness, and Hatton National Bank.
Managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), this program supports the next generation of farmers by training rural youth in advanced farming methods and technology. These skills will increase productivity and incomes, strengthen farming communities, and encourage rural youth interest in farming.
“The United States is committed to help bring prosperity to all segments of Sri Lankan society,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap. “The needs of youth and nation-wide food security are important elements in ensuring prosperity for all.”
The first batch of 45 young farmers will learn about rain shelters for year-round cultivation, water conservation methods such as drip and sprinkler irrigation, and new nursery technologies. In addition, they will get exposure to other farms and markets around the country to help maximize their earnings.
“Farming is more difficult now because there is a gap between knowledge and practice,” explained Sarath Abeyagunawardane, Chief Secretary of the Eastern Province. “This powerful public-private sector team will be successful in supporting young farmers.”
The Youth Farmer Development program is part of USAID’s continuing efforts to increase agricultural production in Northern, North Central, Eastern, and Uva Provinces by introducing improved production methods, linking farmers to markets, and providing materials and equipment to increase production.