SRI LANKA – The Sri Lankan government, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative aimed at enhancing grain drying processes.

Dubbed ‘The Agriculture Sector Modernization Project’, the system will be used for seeds such as maize, paddy, green gram, cowpeas, sesame, finger millet and black seed.

This innovative milestone, introduces a state-of-the-art solar-powered seed-drying system, marking a significant advancement in agricultural practices.

Dr. Rehan Wijekon, Director of the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project, highlighted the system’s reliance on solar energy during its inauguration at Vavuniya Nelukkulam on March 23.

The Solar Tunnel Dryer, as it’s aptly named, operates entirely on solar power, utilizing natural sunlight and solar radiation for efficient drying.

Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, emphasized the system’s unique features, noting its ability to maintain optimal drying temperatures even at night, without incurring additional costs.

One of the system’s key benefits is its ability to shield seeds from harmful solar ultraviolet rays, mitigating risks associated with traditional drying methods.

Additionally, the risk of Aflatoxins, commonly associated with improper grain drying, is effectively eliminated, ensuring the safety and viability of the seeds.

Dr. Rohan Wijekon further underscored the success of the Solar Tunnel Dryer technology, heralding it as a groundbreaking achievement for Sri Lanka’s agricultural landscape.

During the ceremony, the Vavuniya Maize Seed Production and Processing Center was also opened, a crucial component of the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project.

With plans to allocate a significant portion of the country’s maize seed requirement through this initiative, the project aims to bolster agricultural productivity and sustainability.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera commended the government’s commitment to agricultural advancement, citing President Ranil Wickramasinghe’s substantial financial of Rs.2500 million (US$30M) to introduce the new technology to the farmers.

Of that amount, Rs.100 million (US$1.2M) will be allocated to all the districts, of which, 4 divisional secretariat divisions will be selected in each district and Rs.25 million (US$300,000) will be given to each division.

The allocation of funds, both within the budget and additional grants, reflects the government’s dedication to empowering farmers with cutting-edge agricultural solutions.

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