‘From Village to World’ government has
ensured prosperity of rural communities - Prof. G. L. Peiris
While finding the financial resources in the midst of a global economic crisis to achieve a military victory against terrorism, the government has rapidly implemented a variety of programmes to uplift the condition of rural communities throughout the country, Professor G. L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development & International Trade, said in Hambantota recently.

He was inaugurating the first phase of a project which brings 100 acres in Weerawila, at a cost of Rs. 12 million, under cultivation of papaya, mango, green chillie and melon. The initial phase, on which the Government has spent Rs. 3.8 million, will cover 25 acres.

Prof. Peiris said that the unprecedented economic development of the area has been made possible by Government interventions which have resulted in massive infrastructure development. The highways have been developed to an extent without parallel in our history, while rural electrification has seen remarkable strides. Over 85% of houses in the area now have electricity, he said.

The Minister paid tribute to the work done by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister for Water Supply, in bringing pipe-borne water to 80% of house in the area. The International Airport, on which work was commenced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that very morning, will result in further employment opportunity and circulation of money in the area, he continued.

The agricultural project being inaugurated side by side with the infrastructure initiatives, will enable the farming community, with the benefit of value addition provided for by the Export Development Board, to access international markets and so earn a far better price for their products, he continued. While land, fertiliser high quality seed material and expertise are being provided by his Ministry, the establishment of direct links between the farmers and the exporting companies, will solve the marketing problems of the farmers, he said.

Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister of Ports and Civil Aviation, Irrigation and Water Management, described the formidable problems which farmers in the area had to contend with previously. He said that this project, which exemplifies the priorities of the Government, will confer immense advantages on the farmers of the area.

Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Water Supply, commented on the usefulness of the project in terms of adding value to the natural resources of the area and significantly raising standards of living.

Ministers Chamal Rajapaksa and Prof. Peiris later met political activists in the area at Kumar Restaurant, Hambantota, to discuss matters relating to the organisation of the Presidential election campaign.

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