Under the Climate Smart Irrigation Agriculture Project (CSIAP) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industry, steps were taken to renovate 487 small-scale tanks in several districts of the island that had not undergone any renovation for many years in 2023.
The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries,. Mahinda Amaraweera, instructed the CSIAP project to start this irrigation renovation program in order to increase the water capacity of the tanks in order to increase the livelihood development of the people who work under those tanks.
According to this, Rs.6500 million have been spent for this irrigation reform and by the end of 2023, almost all the tanks that have been renovated have been filled with water.
What is special about this is that after the renovation works, the water capacity of those reservoirs has increased from the existing condition. Accordingly, the officials in charge of the CSIAP project informed the minister that the water capacity of the all 487 tanks has increased by 10,000 acre feet compared to the previous situation.
The officials in charge of the project also pointed out that this water capacity is equal to the total water capacity of the Yodhakandiya Reservoir and is five times higher than the water capacity of Thisa wewa.
However, the minister advised the project officials to inform the farmers to use this irrigation water sparingly, taking into account the predictions made by the Department of Meteorological that they will face a severe drought again in the 2024 yala season. The minister also encouraged the farmers to use this water to cultivate intercrops such as maize, cowpeas and green gram.
In the year 2024, the CSIAP Project has planned to spend another 6000 million rupees for the renovation of small-scale irrigation systems.
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