Successful Yala Harvest Expected As Reservoirs Are Above 90 Percent Of Their Capacity


February 15, 2024


The Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries yesterday commenced the first phase of achieving the national goal of doubling the paddy yield with the 2024 Yala season.A crucial discussion on water management at the commencement of cultivation activities for the 2024 Yala season was held yesterday at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agricultural Research and Training Institute.

All ministers attended the program and decided to give prominence to proper water management.President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries to prepare a program to double the yield of paddy through a new agricultural approach. 

The inauguration of that program will be started from this year’s Yala season, a senior Ministry official said.Agriculture and Plantation Industry Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Wildlife Forestry and Irrigation Minister Pavitra Vanniarachchi, State Ministers and other Ministers and representatives of all farmer organizations participated at the event. 

Accordingly, it was decided to release water under the Mahaweli and irrigation reservoirs to start the 2024 yala season cultivation from the last week of March to the first week of April. In relation to paddy cultivation, water will be released during that period, and arrangements have been made to release water for other crops from the third week of April. 

Currently, the water capacity of all Mahaweli reservoirs is 94%, and the water capacity of the reservoirs controlled by the Irrigation Department is 91%. The officials pointed out that the total amount of water needed for the Yala cultivation is available in the reservoirs, thus ensuring a successful cultivation.

According to the current weather conditions, there will be dry weather in February and March, and there is a possibility of getting more rain with the activation of the northeast monsoon in April, the officials of the Meteorological Department pointed out. 

Minister Amaraweera informed all farmer organizations to take steps to start and finish their cultivation work on the scheduled dates as planned in order to undertake mid-season inter-crops after this Yala season.

He also said that the Yala season can be 100 percent successful according to the available water, so that the available water should be used as sparingly as possible and measures should be taken to finish the cultivation work at the right time.