A discussion was held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (01) under the patronage of President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Rathnayake on the utilization of land in Monaragala, Kotiyagala and Kabilitta areas for farming to face the food crisis in the future. These lands were previously reserved for reforestation.
Currently, around 8000 hectares of land in the Monaragala, Kotiyagala and Kabilitta areas owned by the Forest Department has been reserved for reforestation.
It was decided to commence the afforestation activities immediately in the 3000 hectares where saplings have been prepared for afforestation.
The issue of the remaining 5000 hectares of land to be distributed among farmers temporarily for cultivation until the necessary facilities for reforestation were prepared was also discussed at length.
It was also focussed, during the discussion on the possibilities of releasing a certain extent of land for cattle rearing on a temporary basis.
President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake advised the Forest Conservation Department to seek the advice of the Attorney General to resolve the legal issues that may arise in carrying out these activities and instructed heads of all related line institutions accordingly.
Presidential Adviser on Food Security Dr Suren Batagoda, Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation R.M.C.M. A. Herath and a group of heads of line institutions and officers also participated.