Mahaweli’s Yala production estimates

This year’s Yala production estimates made by the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka (MASL) are paddy, 244,026 metric tons (mts) cultivated on 54,724 hectares of land, green gram, 514 mts on 487 ha of land, cowpea, 527 mts on 527 ha, chillies, 3,089 mts on 1,841 ha, red onions, 1650 mts on 165 ha, ground nuts, 1,694 mts on 447 ha, maize, 1,074 mts on 747 ha, Kurakkan, seven mts on 10 ha, vegetables, 17,376 mts on 2,896 ha, soya, 1,762 mts on 881 ha, gingelly, 263 mts on 524 ha and big onions, 20,050 mts on 2,005 ha.

However, no projections have been made for the cultivation of fruits such as watermelon and plantains in this estimate. But official sources said that as the Yala cultivation extends upto June and July, they believed that there was sufficient time to make the necessary adjustments as the need arises to grow a crop required by a buyer, even if there has been no projections made.

"There is sufficient time to grow such a crop during Yala to meet a buyer’s requirement both in terms of quantities required and timeliness in delivery," they said. The sources further claimed that virtually any crop could be grown in the Mahaweli areas.

The Mahaweli area encompasses the North Central, Eastern, and Central Provinces , as well as Weli-Oya in the North and Uda Walawe to the South, comprising three to four agro-climatic zones and 80,000-90,000 ha of irrigable land, making it possible to cultivate virtually any crop without any difficulty, the sources added. (PA)