COLOMBO: The agriculture sector has recorded a significant improvement with the introduction of highly effective new crop varieties by islandwide research centres attached to the Agriculture Department.
Agriculture Department's Director General Dr. C. Kudagamage told the Daily News that the number of paddy bushels per acre has increased to around 190 for the last two years from 80 in 1960. Many paddy and vegetable varieties have been introduced in the last two years.
One hybrid paddy variety and two hybrid tomato and brinjal varieties have also been introduced this year. He said that the country is self-sufficient due to high rice productivity. The paddy harvest has increased by 110 per cent and it will be suffice for the next 14 months.
He said that the paddy variety BW 365 introduced recently can lead to a bumper paddy harvest in the wet zone.
This new variety bred by the Agriculture Research Centre in Bombuwala would yield a harvest within 105 days. A mushroom variety has also been introduced by the Botanical Crops Research Institute in Gannoruwa.
In addition, a new bittergourd variety which can yield 15 tonnes per hectare has been introduced. A banana variety introduced by the Agriculture Research Centre in Thelijjawila will be able to yield tasty and nutritional banana. He said all these new crop varieties have resistance to insects, weeds and diseases.