Disheartened Bingiriya farmers fading away

Disheartened Bingiriya farmers fading away

Disheartened Bingiriya farmers fading away

Written by Tharushan Fernando

24 Sep, 2016 | 11:17 pm

Paddy farmers in Molaeliya, Bingiriya usually cultivate over an area of 800 acres. However, this time around, only 80 farmers who have no other source of income engaged in farming activities.

These farmers cultivated less than 100 acres of land. Over 200 farmers have abandoned their activities in a backdrop where only 1/8th of the land in Molaeliya has been cultivated on.

The farmers who engaged in their activities dug holes in the ground to collect rain water for their irrigation needs. However, even after using such extreme measures, only a handful of farmers who were economically stable, were able to salvage some of their crops.

When the farmers realised that the holes that they had dug were not sufficient to save their crops, they resorted to digging tube wells and pumping water from the Deduru oya.

Around ten farmers were able to use such techniques to save some of their crops after incurring an extra cost. Around 70 farmers who were unable to bear this expense have been forced to witness their crops withering due to the lack of water.

These particular holes that these farmers were banking their crops on, were ones which had been formed when the Marawila tank broke its banks in December last year. Please see video.

Traces of the Marawila tank which once proudly occupied an area of eighty acres and provided water for this area, can no longer be located.

The fate of the ancient Marawila tank was the result of a side effect of the modern day Deduru oya project.

On a number of previous occasions the banks of the Marawila tank were damaged due to the opening of the Deduru Oya tank’s flood gates.

During the first season of farming that followed the destruction of the Maravila tank around 400 acres of farmland was cultivated. This time around it reduced to 100 acres.

The earning signs of this trend are clearly evident. The once bountiful 800 acres Molaeliya farmland is now facing a risk of becoming a barren land.

Is there a point in establishing a ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation for the north western province, if the authorities in charge fail to prevent the destruction of such a land?

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