President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched phase 6 of the Divi Neguma National Programme yesterday (Oct.20) by planting a coconut seedling, to mark the inauguration of the sixth phase of the project countrywide.
Parallel to the event, 56,088 ceremonies were held island-wide with the participation of nearly 200,000 people. At these functions 2.5 million packages of seeds and 1.26 million vegetable plants were distributed to strengthen 2.5 household economic units in the country.
Divi Neguma Phase 1 began under the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s direction on President Rajapaksa’s guidance in March 2011 with the objective of creating a healthy self-sufficient society where families can grow the vegetables and fruits they need for daily consumption in their home gardens.
In addition to vegetable plants and packages of seeds 1.6 million fruit plants, 2.5 coconut plants, 1 million plants for small export crops, 1.3 million plantation crops, 200,000 herbal plants and 1 million Murunga (Drumsticks) plants distributed under Divi Neguma Phase 6 which began yesterday.
After the main ceremony 132,000 chicks and facilities for building 1,000 ponds to breed ornamental fish were also provided. Under the Education Ministry’s direction initial steps were taken to establish home garden units in 10,012 schools.
The packages of seeds comprise seven varieties including bitter gourd, beans, okra, radish, spinach, carrot, cabbages, beetroot, winged beans and amaranth suited to the local climate.